Australian band wows Winnipeg audience

The Cat Empire delivers high energy music and performances

The Cat Empire continues to delight fans around the world with their current international tour and the release of their new album, Stolen Diamonds, which hit the Burton Cummings Theatre March 12.

The Australian band has been together for over a decade. With a refreshing mix of festival party sounds and Latin street vibes, frontman Felix Riebl said the secret to the Cat Empire’s success is staying true to their roots while continuing to wow fans both new and old.

“New songs breathe some fresh air into the earlier more nostalgic ones, but you need a bit of both for a show to go right,” he said.

The band has a reflective attitude, always questioning themselves to push further in order to be more gutsy and daring, meeting both their own creative needs and their fans’ demand for their sound.

“The sound of the album Stolen Diamonds is one of a band that’s recorded and performed for many years together and has learned to trust its collective instinct and not be too individually fussy,” said Riebl.

On the first of every month for the eight months leading up to the release, the Cat Empire released a new single off of Stolen Diamonds to tide over eager fans.

From slower jams like “Sola” to powerful anthems like “Ready Now,” the first of the month became more than a marker of bills due.

“Personally, I wanted to write songs that would bring the audience into our shows more […] I guess that translates to writing choruses people are excited by and sections they want to move to,” said Riebl.

“We had an unspoken commitment to writing and recording songs that would leave the studio and hit the stage tough enough to hold their own.”

The Cat Empire’s Winnipeg show had the perfect mix of nostalgic throwbacks and new tracks that fans were equally excited to be a part of.

The set started out with the title track off of Stolen Diamonds played with the ease of veteran musicians. The stage was spaced out so that each artist had their moment to breathe their flair into the set.

One of the most memorable moments was the rotating battle of the horns during a sentimental fan throwback, “How to Explain.” Delivered with an explosive energy, it was impossible to tell where one instrument ended and the other began.

Everyone was so hyped up about the last song before the encore that the crowd kept singing the background vocals demanding the band to return to the stage. Not only did they run back on after a mere 30 seconds, they picked up what the crowd was singing and went right back into the track and later on, the encore. Front row fans slapped the stage, begging for more while Riebl crawled towards them, egging them on and continuing with another three songs. From the opening notes to one final jump off the drum kit, the Cat Empire delivered a show that left fans exhilarated.

With the band’s 20th anniversary coming up in a few years, Riebl said they plan on simply enjoying their current tour until they reach the important milestone in their career.

“With Stolen Diamonds just out, we’re planning on giving it a lap around the world and blooding it on many stages to a lot of beautiful people.”