Last night at Will’s Pub, I witnessed one of the most impressive and inspirational acts I’ve seen in years. Hank & Cupcakes are an uber-talented duo who have perfected a fantastic live act through a relentless and vigorous touring regimen.
Hank and Cupcakes are a dynamic couple and they just oozed charisma as they entertained their Orlando fans with an energetic one hour set Thursday night. They delivered an enthusiastic selection of punk-tinged pop rock that had the crowd dancing throughout.
The backdrop adorning the stage was one of the most colorful and elaborate that I’ve ever seen in a small club atmosphere (as you will see in our photo gallery linked below). The background was dominated by colorfully decorated circles adorned with tufts of bright tissue paper, all hand-crafted, giving a nice touch to the stage vibe. Hank stood to the left behind a huge collection of foot pedals, with Cupcakes and her drum kit to his left. The colorful drum kit was created with a set-up that gave Cupcakes the freedom to stand throughout the set, allowing her to dance and bounce to the groove continuously.
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Hank (Ariel Scherbacovsky) and Cupcakes (Sagit Shir) are a couple, and their sexual energy was omnipresent throughout the show, and added an edgy dynamic. They started the set with their foreheads touching on “Ain’t No Love’ and ended the set with a passionate kiss at the raucous conclusion to “See The Lie.” In between, they flew across the stage, constantly interacted with the crowd and delivered truly likeable pop rock that was almost impossible to imagine was produced by just the two artists on stage.
The key to their full sound lies in Hank’s set-up. He had his bass output split into different lines, which he masterfully controlled with his foot pedals. There were times he sounded like he was playing a guitar, and others he had the bass creating all sorts of emotive sounds. The progressions were unique and added a fantastic element to the live sound. THe duo met in Tel Aviv, trained in Cuba, assimilated to the US in Brooklyn and now live in Atlanta, all of those locales likely influencing their distinctive style.
Cupcakes handles the great majority of the vocals and she showed off the broad range of her powerful voice throughout the night. On a few occasions, Hank stepped up and offered back-up vocals,as well. One of the highlights was an a capella version of “The Old and New” where the crowd added back-up harmonies.
Most of the setlist featured fun rock songs, but two tracks that stood out were “Spin” and “Relax,” both dance-infused songs that were a blast to listen to. (Full setlist is below the article). The played music from their first two full-length releases, Naked and Cash For Gold, as well as three new cuts, which were all embraced by the eager crowd.
Simply put, Hank & Cupcakes are a must see act when they come to your area. Excellent music and an invigorating fun show.
I also need to give them props for their fantastic approach to live music. These two do everything – they drive the van, set-up and breakdown the stage, sell merch, handle their own booking and publicity, created their own stage design and deliver a killer show! They are proof that a band focused on delivering a memorable experience and controlling their own destiny can accomplish anything.
Do yourself a favor and catch these two the next time they’re in your town and do the band a favor and buy their music:
Finally, kudos to the three musicians in The Ludes, who tore up the stage in a forty-five minute set of energetic guitar-driven rock (We have a few photos from their set on our Facebook, too) that had Cupcakes dancing in the crowd.
Photo Collection: RARA’s Farm Facebook Album – Hank Cupcakes
Ain’t No Love
new Cheap Thrill
new Kiss Your Face
Bat Your Eyelids
new The Old and The New
See The Lie