Cake at the Troubadour: Live Review

Cake and tree

Jena ArdellCake and tree

[For more photos from Saturday's show see Timothy Norris' slideshow "Cake at the Troubadour".]

What: Cake

Where: The Troubadour

When: 2/20/2011

Cake rocked night three of the sold-out, four-night series of concerts performed at the Troubador, despite lead singer John McCrea's maladies.

McCrea attributed playing out of tune during one of Cake's new songs to being hopped up on cold medication. The band took a break between sets for McCrea to recoup and pop a few cough drops.

Cake performed songs from Showroom Of Compassion, the band's first new album in seven years and a surprising chart-topper, as well as old favorites  like "Never There", "Short Skirt/Long Jacket", "The Distance" and a cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs":

Cake at the Troubadour

Jena ArdellCake at the Troubadour

McCrea divided the audience into two halves to accompany him during the bi-part chorus of Cake's latest single "Sick of You" and proved that the vibraslap is still one of the world's most underrated instruments.

McCrea shared tongue-in-cheek observations between songs and preached about living in the moment, at one point saying, "Put the camera away and enjoy being here. You don't have to post everything on Facebook," which I believe was directed at me.

Cake at the Troubadour

Jena ArdellCake at the Troubadour

Cake and tree-giftee Paul

Jena ArdellCake and tree-giftee Paul

Paul (a man whose birthday is in two days) won the coveted potted Valencia orange tree that sat on stage, blocking view of McCrea during most of the show. Paul had to promise he would post photos on Cake's Tree Gallery where winners are encouraged to submit photos of prize trees "as the years pass and trees bigger... no matter what happens, even if [the tree] dies."

The band has been giving away trees at their shows for over four years because McCrea thinks trees are pretty great.