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  THE DEATHRAY DAVIES w/ French Toast  
  The EARL  
  East Atlanta, GA  
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Iíve reviewed Dallasís Deathray Davies before -- I really like them. I especially liked their album from last year, The Day of the Ray. However, I have a confession to make: after writing those reviews and really enjoying their shows, I kinda forgot about them. I didnít mean for them to fall off my musical radar. Itís just that my attention was diverted by the concerts and albums of other, newer bands. So, I probably wouldnít have attended this concert, except that one other Minion was particularly excited by the prospect of seeing The Davies live.

Anyway, when we got to The EARL, we had a bit of a wait before the first band came on. I didnít really mind: the only thing I knew about the opener was they were advertised as being ex-members of The Make Up and Nation of Ulysses. Neither is a recommendation for me, but since I like to support opening bands, we still made our way towards the stage once the two members of French Toast took the stage. I was really surprised when the two guys on stage began to play slightly angular post rock that reminded me a little of Atlantaís Moreland Audio. ďHmm,Ē I said to myself. ďthis is actually pretty good.Ē

And that was an understatement. In fact, as their set progressed, I got more and more into this band. They added some vocals, and keyboards. The drumming remained quite intense -- from where I was standing, the drummer occasionally beat his kick drum hard enough to cause a wind effect. In particular, I rather liked the way some of the songs flowed into others, so that you couldnít tell which tune they were playing. It made their music seem more complex and intricate than it perhaps would have come across with clear breaks. By the end, I was really disappointed that they finished, and felt that had the evening ended with just them playing, it would have be a success.

After a brief break, The Deathray Davies began to play, and I was immediately entranced by their music. Iíd forgotten how much I really liked this band, and their slightly crunchy Texas-style garage/indie rock. It seemed like they played most of my favorites off of Day of the Ray, including the apparent crowd favorite Is this On? and my personal favorite, The Medicationís Gone. They also went a little deeper into the album and pulled off some of the other songs ( like Persuasive is Her Name) which arenít as anthemic, but are nevertheless quite good and show off John Dufilhoís song-writing skills. Despite all this, one of the highlights of their set was a new song called How to Win at Roulette, which has a driving beat, screamed out chorus, and is fun to boot. Supposedly, this is a reflection of the new harder rocking style of The Davies, but except for a little more feedback, that song could have been right at home on one of their earlier albums.

Still, as much as I truly enjoyed the music, the best part of the show was the band themselves. Although the crowd was a bit sparse, and it seemed like only a few people were really into the music, The Davies seemed to be having a really grand old time on the stage. The various band members interacted with each other, smiling and laughing as if they were the only people in the room. Furthermore, lead singer John Dufilho asked the other members of the band what songs they wanted to play, which indicates a respect for the other musicians that is occasionally lacking in band where one person is so dominant. Finally, although this has little to do with The Davies, the sound this night was absolutely excellent. Even though the normal EARL sound guy (who turns things up too loud and too distorted) was working, you could actually hear everything that was played (including the xylophone and tambourine). This gave me a newfound respect for the 6 members of The Deathray Davies Ė- it was clear that each musician knew what he was doing, and added to the overall sound of the band.

In the end, I have to say that I was quite happy to have come out for the show. In fact, Iím a bit embarrassed that I wasnít more enthusiastic before. In my mind, based on the few shows Iíve seen by them, The Deathray Davies are one of the better live bands Iíve come across recently, and it seems like a shame that they didnít draw a larger crowd. You should definitely go see them when they come to your town.

Related Links:

The Day of the Ray by The Deathray Davies.


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