Watch: CYNIC Plays First Concert In Eight Years

January 28, 2023

Progressive music icons CYNIC played their first show in eight years last night (Friday, January 27) at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles, California. The "secret" gig, which saw CYNIC billed as UROBORIC FORMS, served as a warm-up performance for CYNIC's appearance on the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise, which sets sail from Miami, Florida on January 30 through February 3.

CYNIC's lineup for last night's show featured Paul Masvidal on vocals and guitars, Max Phelps (EXIST, DEATH TO ALL) on additional guitars and vocals, Brandon Giffin (THE FACELESS, THE ZENITH PASSAGE) on bass, and Matt Lynch (NOVA COLLECTIVE, INTRONAUT) on drums and percussion. Lynch has been drumming with CYNIC since 2015 and appeared on the band's latest full-length, "Ascension Codes", as well as the 2018 single "Humanoid". Phelps, who also appeared on "Ascension Codes", and Giffin previously toured with CYNIC during the cycles in support of the "Carbon-Based Anatomy" EP and "Kindly Bent To Free Us" album.

Earlier today, Masvidal shared a poster for the Knitting Factory concert, and he included the following message: "So this happened... First CYNIC show after 8 years. It was a secret warm-up show before embarking on the @70000tons cruise and our show at @progpowerusa .

"We want to thank @max_phelps_exist @brandon.giffin.bass @rorschach.horseman and @mattlynchdrummer for being such amazing musicians and bandmates and @future_usses for supporting us in this crazy idea/show. Of course, thanks to everyone of you who could witness CYINIC LIVE for the first time in 8 years."

CYNIC's setlist was as follows, according to

01. Veil Of Maya
02. Celestial Voyage (first performance since 2014)
03. The Eagle Nature (first performance since 2010)
04. Sentiment (first performance since 2010)
05. I'm But A Wave To... (first performance since 2010)
06. Uroboric Forms (first performance since 2010)
07. Textures (first performance since 2014)
08. How Could I (first performance since 2014)
09. Kindly Bent To Free Us
10. Adam's Murmur
11. Aurora (live debut)
12. Box Up My Bones (first performance since 2011)
13. Evolutionary Sleeper
14. DU-*61.714285 (live debut)
15. In A Multiverse Where Atoms Sing (live debut)

Video of the performance can be seen below (courtesy of Steve Joh).

As previously reported, CYNIC will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its seminal debut album, "Focus", by performing it in its entirety at70000 Tons Of Metal and at ProgPower USA festival on September 6 in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition, CYNIC will pay homage to late members Sean Reinert and Sean Malone as these are the band's first live appearances since the musicians' passings. More anniversary and memorial tribute shows will be announced in the near future.

CYNIC recently released a fully instrumental version of "Ascension Codes" via Bandcamp and all streaming services.

Released in 1993, "Focus" is a certified classic. Although that era ended with transformation into the short-lived PORTAL, and then a further splinter toward AEON SPOKE, CYNIC's reunion-era has found them embraced in a way that proves how ahead of the times they were in the '90s. Through monuments such as the "Traced In Air" (2008) and "Kindly Bent To Free Us" (2014) albums, the "Carbon-Based Anatomy" and "Re-Traced" EPs, and a surprising rebirth with the "Humanoid" single of 2018, the CYNIC legacy remains untarnished.

The year 2020 will go down in history as a tremendously difficult time for the global human population. For the CYNIC family, the struggle was not restricted to a pandemic. It was two utterly senseless losses that threw the band's immediate concerns into the background: the premature deaths of drummer Sean Reinert in January, at age 48, and bassist Sean Malone in December, at age 50, were shocking and unthinkable.

Reinert, a founding CYNIC member since formation in 1988, was highly influential to a multitude of young drummers. His work on "Focus" and DEATH's watershed 1991 album "Human" found him sculpting extreme technical metal with a jazz fusion-inspired approach. Now taken for granted, that approach to the instrument and the genre was undoubtedly pioneered in large part by Reinert. Though parting with CYNIC in 2015, his imprint on CYNIC is inescapable.

The death of Sean Malone dealt another horrible layer of tragedy to CYNIC's 2020. In his many years with the band, Malone's virtuoso playing meshed intuitively with Reinert's. Together they formed a nucleus of kinetic, highly capable rhythmic dexterity that fueled CYNIC's celestial aims.

So this happened...
First Cynic show after 8 years. It was a secret warm-up show before embarking on the @70000tons...

Posted by Cynic on Saturday, January 28, 2023

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