Hours before Australian electronic-pop band Cut Copy took the stage at Terminal 5 on Friday, a not-to-be-unbroken pulse of energy had already been initiated. The small group of people who arrived when the doors opened at 7 p.m. immediately found themselves immersed in a DJ set by Turkish Prison. As the audience grew and the DJ’s beats faded out, the second opener Jessy Lanza started her synth-heavy set with hardly a moment of silence during the transition. Turkish Prison returned as soon as Lanza finished and kept the beats going for another 45 minutes, exiting the stage just seconds before Cut Copy emerged. The steadily-built buzz engulfed the crowd that now packed all three of the venue’s floors.

Free Your Mind, the title of Cut Copy’s latest album, doubled as the evening’s mantra–an easy one to abide by amidst a ceaseless circuit of pounding dance tracks. So danceable is Cut Copy’s music that its own four band members can’t resist grooving along while they play. The Aussies started the first show of their two-night Terminal 5 run with “We Are Explorers,” clapping and shimmying just like the sold-out crowd in front of them. “Take Me Over” followed as singer/keyboardist/guitarist Dan Whitford fist-pumped repeatedly while playing the song’s bouncy synth hook. Clearly not immune to the infectious sense of movement created by his band, he spent nearly every second of the show dancing, jumping, and/or running around the stage.

Whitford briefly introduced the third song, “Free Your Mind,” as a track from the new album. At that moment, an enormous screen behind the band lit up with those same three words projected onto it. An intensely palpable surge of energy accompanied the fluorescent declaration as the song’s floor-shaking synth bass line overtook the room. From that point on, the images projected on the screen throughout the show–from psychedelic circles to a photo of a vast mountain–heightened the mind-opening sensory overload set forth by the band.

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Cut Copy excels at consistently making music that conjures the (mostly) universal urge to let go and have a good time. “Lights & Music” received the loudest audience sing-along of the night, with its chorus of “Lights and music on my mind / Be my baby one more time.” The band’s live show is great because it sticks to elements that work: climactic beats, catchy melodies, and unanimously fun lyrics. What’s not to enjoy about a chorus like the one from “Where I’m Going”: “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Woo!”? Nothing, as evidenced in the fact that the crowd enthusiastically shouted along to it each time.

Despite feeling like a lengthy whirlwind, the show only lasted a little more than an hour. Cut Copy turned 60 minutes into an experience that felt like one trance-inducing song: the moments before their encore were the only disruption to the continuous parade of beats that had started early in the night. The band returned with the uncharacteristically slow, dreamy-sounding “Walking in the Sky” before picking up the pace once more. “Need You Now” ignited a final dance spree in the packed venue–enthralled by the music, everyone ignored the reality that there was barely any room to move.

Setlist for Cut Copy @ Terminal 5 | 3/21/14

We Are Explorers
Take Me Over
Free Your Mind
Where I’m Going
In Memory Capsule
So Haunted
Hearts on Fire
Feel the Love
Out There on the Ice
Let Me Show You Love
Sun God
Meet Me in a House of Love
Lights & Music


Walking in the Sky
Need You Now