The last time I saw the Cult, at the 2001 HFStival, nü metal was the order of the weekend, and so the Ian Astbury–fronted U.K. outfit played up its doomier, gloomier aspects. In the current age of album-centered nostalgia tours, it’s no surprise that the chameleonic five-piece is exhuming its 1985 breakthrough Love, which took from the best of that decade’s left-of-the-dial music—postpunk, goth, neopsychedelia—and made it muscular and accessible. Part rock classicism, part indeterminate mysticism, the album blasted college rock onto arena stages; now scaled down, recession-style, to clubs, Love’s where it always really belonged.
THE CULT PERFORMS AT 7 P.M. WITH LIVING THINGS AT THE 9:30 CLUB, 815 V ST. NW. $40. (202) 265-0930.