I must confess, y'all, I sometimes don't pay Baltimore all that much attention when it comes to shows. Yes, it's only an hour or so away, and yes they have some fine venues up there...but sometimes it just slips my mind. What can I say. Obviously, I'll have to change my evil ways, cuz I almost missed the boat on one heck of a show. If it hadn't been for my partner in crime, the lovely Laura, I would have remained painfully unaware of the amazingness Baltimore had in store at the Ottobar, featuring the one and only Delta Spirit and the one and only (and LET faves!) Darker My Love. To say shame on me just doesn't quite resonate loudly enough. But it all worked out in the end. I came, I saw, I sonically swooned.
MINI RECAP: Darker My Love = Full of Awesome Surprises! The Delta Spirit = Full of Expected Awesome! Overall Score: B++
Darker My Love. What more can I say about this band? For a little while now they've been one of my favorite bands, and some of my favorite band people. Their brand of crazy California psych revival revelry puts me on Cloud 9. So naturally, I was thrilled when they took the stage. And, ladies and gentlemen, they proceeded to rock my world once more. Obviously, while recording new record Alive As You Are, the band locked themselves in the California desert with their collection of Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons, and Crosby, Still, Nash & Young records. I say this because the sounds that came from that stage were quite a departure from records numbers 1 and 2. They strutted their bad sonic selves all over the place, heavy on the hot damn twang and purty harmonies. It was a direction I never would have expected, but then again, isn't it awesome when bands can throw you for a loop? It's one heck of a magical mystery tour, but I'm telling you now that Darker My Love might just be better than ever.
After catching my breath and washing it down with another beer, it was time for The Delta Spirit. When last I saw TDS, they were sassing it up on an opening slot for the beloved Nada Surf a couple years back. I was impressed back then, and was excited to see them do it all over again headlining their own show. And I tell you what. I wasn't disappointed. From the get-go they were saucing it up on that there stage, throwing out beaty, meaty riffs and tight drumming and entirely excellent little ditties galore. The crowd absolutely loved 'em, and I second the mob's opinion. Here's a band that can take you to real lovely, gentle places just as easily as they can get you dancing around without a care in the world. Let it not be said that The Delta Spirit can't get their rocks off, friends. Their jumbly, big sound was ever so delightful. And the way they fed off the crowd was so nice to see, the band seemed blissed out playing for the lively Baltimoreans. "This has been a really fun show for us," they said, and there's no doubt it was the truth. The crowd was attentive to each and every note. "People C'mon" was a crowd favorite, ragged and rough and hot diggity dog fantastic. Their set was so rowdy it was almost exhausting.
All in all, friends, this was one of the best shows I almost forgot about all year long. These two bands are great in their own right, but stick 'em together and you've got quite the golden ticket. But hey now. Don't take my word for it. Go see 'em for yourself, and just try to tell me I'm wrong.
mp3: Dear Author (Darker My Love from Alive As You Are)
mp3: Salt In The Wound (The Delta Spirit from History From Below) (courtesy Untitled Records)