As part of the band's concert performance on July 16th, Cake gave away a tree to an audience member.
Cake performed at the Lowell Summer Music Series in Lowell, Massachusetts on Friday, July 16, 2010. The show started an hour late due to an electrical storm. But the band still did two sets and a two-song encore.
It continued to rain throughout the first set, but it was a light rain, and it did not weaken the audience's spirit. The electrical storm continued too, and John McCrea, the band's lead singer, made references to Poltergeist, by counting the seconds from the lightning to the thunder.
The band played material spanning its 15-plus year career, and even played some new material. They announced that a new album would released soon, and the crowd cheered.
They played only one song from the first album, though fans shouted out requests for "Ruby Sees All" and "Rock 'N' Roll Lifestyle." The song they played was "Jolene," to conclude the first set.
Second Set Tree Give-Away
During the second set, they stopped to give away a tree that had been brought on stage earlier in the evening. John McCrea asked what percentage of the world's population has running water in their homes. He said he would only call on people who were quiet and had their hands raised. After many, many incorrect guesses, one woman called out 36%.
"Close enough," McCrea said. The answer is 35%. So this woman was brought up on stage and made to promise that she would plant the tree and take care of it for the next thirty-five years. "If you don't," he told her, "there are tons of witnesses here who will hunt you down."
She also promised to plant the tree and to take a photo of herself next to the newly planted tree and to send that photo to Cake via the band's website.
All of this was amusing, but it really ate into the second set. It might have been better if they had cut that short and played another song. Though it is a noble endeavor to make people environmentally aware, and it is an excellent thing to plant trees, it also stopped the show dead.
This has become a regular part of Cake's concert. On the band's website is a "Tree Gallery," with photos of people and the trees they won at concerts.
Lowell Summer Music Series
Apparently a lot of people remain seated during concerts at the Lowell Summer Music Series. But not for Cake. In fact, signs were posted around the venue, stating, "Tonight we anticipate: Standing, Dancing, Reluctant Crouching."
Tickets were available at the door, for forty dollars (which was actually only two dollars more than the price for those who bought them ahead of time). All seats were general admission. Blankets and chairs were allowed, as were drinks and food. Photography was not allowed at this concert, and so no photo accompanies this article.
Children up to age 12 are admitted for free to all concerts in the Lowell Summer Music Series. Performers scheduled for later this summer include Indigo Girls, Herbie Hancock, Lyle Lovett, Aztec Two-Step and The B-52s.
(Note: I originally posted this article on July 23, 2010.)