Thursday, October 6, 2011

DeVotchKa at Bootleg Bar - October 5, 2011

Wow, they did it again. DeVotchka completely mesmerized for the entire length of their set last night, Wednesday, October 5 at Bootleg Bar. It was a more fleshed out version of their great performance last weekend at The Greek (opening for Elbow) that ran over an hour. Fans lucky enough to have scored tickets for the show packed the club and the wide range of the band's appeal was apparent from the variety of manners on display. Some decided to push their way through the crowd to plant themselves right in front of you when the band began, while others immediately pulled out their cell phones and opened them up in your face.

Once the music got going, none of that mattered, as the high spirits and enthusiasm are totally infectious and their musical talents are overwhelming. Beginning with Nick Urata's voice, which is an instrument of such extraordinary grace and power. His control is awesome. It's so great to be up front and watch the way he carefully enunciates each word, making every lyric understandable. Tom Hagerman is an absolute demon on the violin which he plays hard and furiously while never hitting a wrong note. Shawn King is a wizard of the drums which he can play in so many styles, he's a perfect fit for the multi-faceted compositions they write. Jeanie Schroder, who hugs her double bass, dances with her sousaphone, and plays flute is another charismatic performer in a band of charismatic musicians. The look of unabashed pleasure on her face makes you believe she's having the time of her life.

They played much from 100 Lovers, but also included songs from their past, including some I didn't know, all of which were poured into a program of such variety and passionate playing, the whole crowd was affected. There aren't many bands that can inspire such devotion from their fans, but DeVotchka deserve it. I'm proud to have seen them five times so far.

Those rowdy ruffians, The Parson Red Heads, pushed Viva Voce off the bill this Friday, October 7 at The Satellite in order to headline. (Actually Viva Voce had to cancel and I'm making this up.) Back in town for another show, The Parson Red Heads have made good on their promise to come back and play here as often as possible, so it's less heartbreaking that they don't live here anymore. Usually joined by assorted former members who still live here, their shows always have a nice 'reunion' feel, and on this date they're joined by Last American Buffalo and Death To Anders, who only jumped on the bill a few days ago. This is a good bet for a pleasurable Friday night.


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