A very strong Southern California lineup late on Easter Sunday entertained a packed house with some great music. In the three years that i have been living here I've never been to the Derby. After visiting there, I have found a new home! We got there early grabbed a seat and the centrally located circular bar. What a great view! The club itself is round and the sound echoes beautifully throughout the space regardless of how full it is.
As the crowd slowly gathered, Elia kicked off the show. They only managed to catch the crowd's attention sporadically. Their music was dreary, yet lively with soaring repetitive chords. They performed well but the act was a little too "Hope Sandoval & the Good Intentions" for me. The set-list also needed some personal attention as it did not flow in a way that accented the bands emotional music. Good group with good songs but the performance needs some work and those little personal touches that can make an opening act stand out.
The Devics performance was an example of what the first group was missing. How often does that happen? Nearly the same music, but rehearsed much better and the thought behind the music was more thorough as well. The vast majority of the set-list consisted of older tunes, as they are in the studio currently recording those tunes. However, they did treat the audience to a new song, and the band's excitement on stage was tangible. The up-right bass used for the majority of the set combined with their interesting guitar work to offer a performance superior to the first act. The Devics constituted a pleasant progression from opening act to headliner on performance as well as
substance. The vibe of the crowd profited and swelled from their performance.
The Black Heart Procession, who have been a personal favorite for a while now, again fit right into a mold that was set at the start of the night. Indeed, this did not work very well in their favor this night as the crowd had been lulled into a daze twice by this point. The BHP, however, put on a nice show playing mostly songs from 3 but still including many standards from the bands previous records. Their presentation was simple, well representing their recorded sound of bass, drums, and guitar with some piano and organ thrown in occasionally.
The performance was good but not spectacular. Even vocalist Tobias Nathaniel admitted that it wasn't the best of nights when he told an over-excited fan that the last song was much better on the record. All in all, the performance, while not being their best, was still quality and worth spending Easter Sunday night out.
On papaer, this was a very exciting show. However, the night seemed to never end. How many emotionally draining performances can one person take? Maybe something slightly more spritely would have brightened the place up somewhat. Maybe i was suffering from too much of a good thing? I think so because while enjoying each of the performances on an individual level, the night didn't completely resonate with me and I was left feeling quite drained.