Gabby Catalano ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Positioned in the midst of burger joints, irish pubs, and Boston University Central is a CBGB replica for sound enthusiasts to watch emerging and established artists own the stage, and, of course, to blow out their eardrums. San Diego-based band Delta Spirit rocked the night at Paradise Rock Club in Boston on Oct. 7, giving an emotionally powerful performance and attracting younger and older music generations.
By 7 p.m, women in mini skirts and men sporting denim jackets grew by the numbers as anticipation rose to enter “The Dise.” College students, Bostonians, and other New Englanders exited the T on Commonwealth Avenue in packs.
“I braved the 40-minute train ride to watch my favorite band perform,” said a Dorchester-native who came alone.
The club resembled scenes from the film “CBGB” where The Dead Boys, The Ramones, Blondie, and other rock and roll bands called home. Dimmed lighting, colorful fluorescents, bottles of beer, and hungry concert goers swarmed the scene. For those who haven’t experienced the club, it’s half bar, half general admission stage with an upper balcony. Posters of Flying Lotus, American Authors, Lights, and other indie rock bands fill the dark, haunted house-style entrance. This venue is the typical raw, nightlife scene that Boston’s best recognized for.
Folk-country music from Destry and Young Jesus echoed as the doors opened, which didn’t fit the vile, 80’s ambiance of the venue. But when the opening act took stage, in came the earplugs and out came the magnitude of sound.
Peter Matthew Bauer and his “unnamed band” set the night off. The ensemble implemented percussion-based instruments and passionate vocals, delivering a full-hearted performance. Movement on stage, Bauer’s sense of humor, and interaction with the audience were bonuses. However the lack of balance in instrumentation was a drawback; the loud guitar riffs and inconsistent drum beats resulted in a deficiency of underlying sound.
“This song goes out to people who liked our band when we first came out,” said lead vocalist-guitarist Matthew Vasquez when introducing his band Delta Spirit. Pitching their style between indie rock and alternative country, the bands high-level energy and driving rhythms were the backbones of the night.
Delta Spirit played singles “From Now On,” “Push It,” and “Live On” from their album “Into the Wide“ which was released on Oct. 9. The latest singles featured intense beats, strong and honest lyrics, and anticipation for the album. They also played older songs from their 2012 self-titled album “Delta Spirit,” the track “California” receiving the most audience attention.
While Vasquez balanced an electric guitar on his head, made odd facial expressions, and stared intensely at the crowd, ambivalence infused the room. His arrogant aura was, at times, a drawback. It might’ve been that he twirled his guitar while singing, danced sloppily on stage, or screamed like Sid Vicious from The Sex Pistols. It was difficult to distinguish the role alcohol played in these moments, or if he’s a just a natural energizer bunny. Whatever the answer, a vital question can be raised — can listeners separate the artist from their music?
And how can attendees forget when Vasquez left the stage during a guitar solo and returned with a case of water bottles, which he then handed to screaming fans and starstruck faces? This is an act rarely seen during concerts. He then dedicated the song “Yumaha” to his wife and shed tears, leaving the audience in a state of awe.
His confident but cocky stature was entertaining, though his voice of vulnerability captured the audience. His shouting vocal ability, similar to lead singer Jordan Dreyer in La Dispute, was raw (in the best way possible) and all-powerful. Bassist Jonathon Jameson played solid rhythms and set the foundation of the harmonies, while drummer Brandon Young alternated from soft to blaring drum beats.
Delta Spirit is worth seeing live, especially if loud and gritty performances intrigue you. While they’re strumming away throughout the US and the UK, you can listen to their latest album below.