For four simple letters, The Cult had a devil of a time settling on its name. The Yorkshire-formed group's origins stretch back to Southern Death Cult, the band formed by American Indian-obsessed Ian Astbury. SDC found almost immediate success on the UK Goth circuit, but Astbury wanted to break out of the crypt and recruited a new band including onetime Morrissey bandmate (in the Nosebleeds) Billy Duffy. This one he called Death Cult, which didn't exactly help Astbury break out of the goth-rock ghetto. So he shortened it to The Cult, and the band's muscular and mystical hard-rock sound began to catch on. The group wouldn't attract American metalheads' attention until "Love Removal Machine" in 1987, but its 1985 album Love — which it performs front to back Sunday — and dorm-room anthems "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Rain" ended any sort of confusion about Astbury and crew's hard-hitting, vaguely psychedelic identity once and for all.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.