Last night I hoped a train down to Webster Hall to check out Delta Spirit. The band is out of San Diego, California and can be described as a “hybrid of rock and northern soul” and they brought both in spades. I arrived as Darker My Love was about halfway through their set. Darker My Love had a great, bright country mixed with psychedelic sound but was visibly upset after lead singer and guitarist Tim Presley spilled a beer into his Vox amp. He asked the crowd if it sounded all right and I yelled to assure him it sounded great (It really did!) .
After they wrapped up their set, I actually got a chance to meet Tim Presley himself outside. We talked guitars for a bit and exchanged emails so I could send him addresses of repair shops. Hopefully they can get their gear in line before getting out for the rest of the tour. We said goodbyes and I hurried back in to catch the Delta Spirit start their show.
This guy was so excited he passed out. He was escorted out as the band was coming on, little did I know this would be a hint to their massive energy and power. The band opened with ‘White Table’ multi-instrumentalist Kelly Winrich backing the band up on orchaestral drums. The song was a powerful slow build to ‘Golden State’, a catchy as hell bumping and grooving song, which would come to be a hallmark of the show overall. ‘9-11’ followed, punctuated perfectly by the great lyrics and comfortable voice of singer Matt Vasquez. They were constantly engaging the audience, a very welcome break from the stand with arms folded shows I’ve been attending. Even when the band would take things down a notch on ballads like ‘Ransom Man’ they had the audience totally engrossed. The song was a slow burn to an epic noisy freakout, and it was awesome to see the guys let loose.
The energy carried them to rocking and rollicking ‘Streetwalker’ featuring Winrich on some mean organ parts. ‘Parade” featured some smooth bass grooves from 4 string maestro Jon Jameson. Vasquez dedicated the song to all the out of towners like himself and the band set into ‘St. Francis.’ The crowd got so excited the song even had a stage diver! I wouldn’t say he dived as much as skanked as if “he was at a ska show in 1995” (Kelly Winrich’s words, not mine) The band was fair enough to dedicated a song to the local crowd and played ‘Bushwick Blues’ next, an ode to hopping n the L train and living the hipster life up. This song was actually proceeded by my favorite moment of the night. Vasquez begas a story with “So the second time I dropped acid I walked into my friends bathroom and started playing this song” which lead to a piano and vocal cover of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here (gleefully joined in on vocals by happy rock fans like me in the crowd) into my personal favorite ‘Trashcan’. If that song has somehow missed your ears I pity you.
Before wrapping up, the Band launched into ‘People C’Mon’, another crowd favorite off the band’s first LP “Ode to Sunshine,” Then went into ‘Childrens’ which I was lucky enough to capture a bit of below. I wanted to get some video of the crowd in action.
The band closed up with the closing track off their latest album, “History From Below,” the ballad ‘History.’ Vasquez said the song was inspired by a man who killed his wife’s lover. I don’t know if I can say it ended the night on a high note but the song cemented the band’s set as a serious statement that they will return soon with more rollicking tunes and good times.