Critic's Choice: Casey Phillips picks Cherub

Critic's Choice: Casey Phillips picks Cherub

June 15th, 2013 by Casey Phillips in Life Entertainment

Jordon Kelley and Jason Huber are Cherub.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Cherub brings fire, passion, movement to Riverbend


What: Cherub.

When: 6-7:45 p.m. Tonight.

Where: Unum Stage.

Admission: Riverbend pin; $26 day pass.

If there's one thing that irritates me about live concerts, it's when a band is so motionless the members could be mistaken for musical hat racks, automatons lazily strumming chords as they stare at their Chuck Taylors.

Music isn't just about sound; it's about fire and passion and sweat and blood. Shoe-gazing is pretty much none of those things.

Make no mistake, Cherub may wear Chuck Taylors (actually, I don't know if they do), but there will be so much movement, onstage and off, that you won't have time to get a close look.

An electro-pop/funk duo from just up Interstate 24 in Nashville, Cherub is the brainchild of former Middle Tennessee State University students and electronic producers Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber, who combine elements of hip-hop, R&B and pop for a blend that is eminently danceable.

Last year, Cherub really hit its stride with its debut CD, "MoM & DaD," which featured the outstanding "Doses and Mimosas," a falsetto-laced, beat-ridden endorsement of partying that Nashville Cream, a column from the Nashville Scene alt-weekly, likened to "if Barry Gibb, Andre 3000 and ... Hot Chip formed a supergroup."

Depending on your taste, that may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but the song went viral, helping the duo gain enough traction in the right circles to land them on the stage at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a 9,400-seat, high-profile venue outside Denver.

While I might normally expect a dance band like this to close out the festival tonight, Cherub will help kick off Riverbend with high-energy aplomb. If you've got a few minutes to spare before heading to the waterfront, check out the video for "Doses and Mimosas" online to get an idea what to expect.

Contact staff writer Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfree or 423-757-6205.

Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.