Everyone has that band whose songs create such an emotional release that your heart hurts. Apparently, Toronto has that connection with Delta Spirit, as the California band played to a packed Lee’s Palace last Thursday.
Peter Matthew Bauer’s set certainly had a cathartic element to it. Familiar to most as the bassist from The Walkmen, the sharply dressed Bauer was channeling inner-angst into foot tapping rock. Certain tunes such as the title track from his debut Liberation sounded promising riot anthems. However, Bauer’s wailing nasal vocals during the mellower ‘Shiva the Destroyer’ was unfortunately disengaging. The set lacked certain cohesion, as instruments didn’t mesh well. Perhaps, most in the crowd were thinking ‘LOUD NOISES’!
Delta Spirit’s return to the city was a long time coming. “Apologies for taking this long”, addressed the charming Matthew Vasquez, as the dancy intro of ‘Tear It Up’ started. Just like a parched human absorbs every drop of water, the packed venue soaked in every ounce of emotion dripping from Vasquez’s vulnerable vocals. Whether it was the call to action song ‘People C’mon’, the soothing ‘Take Shelter’ or oldies like ‘Bushwick Blues’ or ‘California’, there was a barely a low point in the set. Hard to point out any crowd favourites when the entire 90-minute plus set is a sing along fest. The Toronto faithful were further enamored with the San Diego collective, as Vasquez and co played ‘Money Saves’ during the encore, due to a Twitter fan request.
Delta Spirit is one of those bands that posses the art of crafting emotional songs that don’t sacrifice smart lyricism for connection with the listener. Their albums are melodic diary entries, and their shows have the intimacy of talking to a best friend. Delta Spirit, Toronto missed you.
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Review by Nilabjo Banerjee |