Show Review: Dirty Projectors @ Emo’s (8/2)

Last night’s show at Emos was a much-anticipated gig, featuring two huge acts touring together.  Wye Oak served as the appetizer for the Dirty Projectors, setting us all up for what would be a pretty solid evening all around.

Read on for more thoughts, and for great pics by B. Gray.

The new Emo’s has its ups and downs.  The venue is so enormous and concrete that when bands aren’t playing, or while they are playing (as was the case last night) the chatter from indifferent show-goers reverberates through the large room.  That said, when the sound is just right, it sounds absolutely incredible, which was case for both bands on the night.

Wye Oak kicked things off, with Jenn Wasner happy to be back in town.  I’ve said enough about their tunes in the past (super solid tunes), but I have only gotten to see them a handful of times.  Their music seems to require a lot of intricacy and well-rehearsed timing, and each time it came off successfully–every time save one brief moment–Jenn smiled enormously.  Her guitar ran loudly and much credit needs to be given to partner Andy Stack.  At one moment, he was playing the regular drum kit, a synthesized kit and a keyboard…switching it all up fluidly.  The only time he didn’t have his hands on more than one instrument was when the group played new track, “Survival,” where he took to the bass guitar. They closed their set with an emphatic rendition of “Civilian,”  leaving everyone satisfied and prepared for the night’s entrée.

People have been raving about Swing Lo Magellan, so it was only fitting that The Dirty Projectors dedicated a fair amount of their early set to the new record, opening with the album’s title track.  Interestingly, the songs had a lot more life to them than I expected in the live setting, which is mostly owed to David’s energy on the stage; he stalked about, bouncing and smiling all the while. Personally, I still dig the tracks they offered from Bitte Orca; I think it’s the best work they’ve done, and those songs sounded great last night.

One thing that stood out to me was how incredibly tight DP was last night, and I assume are on every night. First, the addition of the beautiful Olga Bell has really improved the show; she has a great life energy, especially when the band is jamming out.  But, again, my standout moment was during an intricate part of the show where all three ladies were clapping, but paying attention closely, you could see that all three were clapping out something different; it all came out perfectly.  Such is the work the band has put into their shows; they combine cacophony  and turn it into pure melody.  That, to me, will always be the reason the band remains on top of as one of the more creative acts around.

Plenty more pics at the photo site

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