Delta Spirit @ Emo’s Show Review

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Saturday night was probably not the most enjoyable evening on which to catch a show, as it was freezing cold here in Austin, but many brave souls opted to push through the wintry weather in pursuit of a good evening of music.  Those in attendance were able to catch Dawes, Other Lives and Delta Spirit honing their skills on stage. Here are our thoughts on the evening.

Opening act Dawes was definitely a subdued set to open the evening, as their blend of Souther California pop left much to be desired in the realm of a rock show.  This isn’t to say that the band was not earnest and enjoyable, solely that their presence did not build great anticipation for the night of music ahead.  Nonetheless, they demonstrated confidence in the face of a seemingly disinterested crowd.

Other Lives took to the stage next, determined to win over the crowd who came, mostly, to see Delta Spirit.  From the moment they opened, the crowd should have known that they were in for something slightly spectacular.  Long a follower of this band, it was great to see the chemistry finally come together, as the band seemed to be wholly enjoying themselves, even as they switched instruments, often in mid-song.

Lead singer Jesse Tabish thanked the audience over and over again, as they gradually took the large crowd over with their atmospheric sounds where cello meets guitar and piano, all ornately blended together.  One couldn’t help but be intrigued by the band’s tightness, as their sound appears difficult to unite on stage. Still, they masterfully powered through the set, bringing in the audience every step of the way, as if to mesmerize them with the various elements they offered.  The band is sure to catch fire as they play more and more shows in the upcoming months, several of which will feature the band playing all across Austin during SXSW.  For those in search of a fascinating blend of soundscape and melody, this is a band you should catch hold of before they explode onto the scene.

The Delta Spirit took to the stage around 12:30, much to the delight of those in the audience.  Immediately you could feel the rise in the energy level, as both opening groups live on the mellower side of things.  As the audience reacted, so to did the band, bouncing about with smiles upon their face.  However, the vocals seemed to be struggling a bit, as the Mathew Vasquez obviously strained to belt out the lyrics.  His delivery came across as more of a post-punk hardcore sound rather than his typical alt-country smoothness.

Still, the band had various tricks up their sleeve. They brought out the young drummer of Dawes for added percussion, later using another drum circle moment that included Josh from Other Lives.  Also, they used Jenny from Other Lives to bring out her cello for extra instrumentation.  The evening probably went well for the noticeably enthusiastic band, though the vocal strain did mark several of the songs as throwaways, which is unusual for a band of such talents.  But, as the party raged on, no one seemed to care, and everyone left the evening at Emos with a great sense of joy at having seen several remarkable bands.

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