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Review: Delta Spirit @Neumos 5/4

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Delta Spirit, All Photos by Amber Zbitnoff Photography

With the widespread popularity of Delta Spirit‘s newest album, fans packed Neumos to start their Friday night with the California based band. The self titled release- while popular and unquestionably brought this group to a larger audience- has gotten mixed reviews from long term fans. Those who have been steadfast fans from the beginning haven’t felt a connection to it- thinking it to be too polished. Whatever your sentiments of the album, after watching their show on Friday it’s impossible for me to think that anyone left thinking that this band wasn’t poised to be something major in the music world.

Playing songs spanning their entire catalog but drawing heavily from Delta Spirit, this concert was dumbfounding in terms of performance- both musically and as a performance. At the start of their set, there were gaps throughout the crowd, but by the last song, everyone was packed in tightly and trying to inch up closer to the action happening on stage stage. The boys who comprise Delta Spirit are a force on stage- they play with such passion and intensity it’s seemingly impossible not to get lost in their every pound of the drums or agonized scream that front man Matthew Vasquez emitted.

Vasquez exudes an energy that is from a different time, and it’s something that’s unfortunately rare in a lot of live acts today. He oozes this attitude of ‘I’m really good at this, and we’re a great band, so here’s what we’re going to do and have fun.’ He’s confident without being arrogant. Crazed while maintaining a shred of control- a balance that makes his motions and lyrics ignite audiences. His voice is imperfect- scratchy, gritty, unpolished- and when it’s paired with his actions and expressions on stage, he helps to create an energy in the crowd that is unbelievably fierce.

The same can be said for his band mates. This group of guys are just dynamic, and managed to play a polished set that was still rough around the edges. The bassist was at times a scene stealer, there was a moment with their keyboardist played a second set of drums which provided one of the best moments of the night, and just as a total package I’m just not sure how these guys could have put on a better show.

Delta Spirit is a loud, passionate, fiery rock band. You may not hear that as heavily on their records- which makes their shows that much more thrilling. If you’re a rock fan, these guys are something special- creating music that is striking, and performing it live in such a way that will leave you walking from a venue with a deeper appreciation for what bands are capable of doing on a stage.

All photos were shot by Amber Zbitnoff of Amber Zbitnoff Photography.