With the debut of Delta Spirit’s more polished and slightly revamped sound on March 23 at Chicago’s Metro, no one in the venue was more thrilled for the night than the band itself. Enormous amounts of energy emanated from the band’s performance, making those who doubted the melody makeover reconsider.
Lead singer and guitarist Matthew Vasquez struggled to contain his obvious excitement, nearly slipping on cords while jumping around on stage.
Delta Spirit’s harmonious Californian indie rock mixed with southern blues and folk was a concoction to hear. “California” offered vocals that were long and oceanic with a short and fast guitar—the yang of the vocals’ yin. Interludes of guitar riffs stretching out and echoing through the venue hinted a slower paced song was on the way. However, band members caught the crowd off guard with the upbeat songs “Idaho” and “Children,” beating down on the instruments with perfect timing and sharing a finessed dynamic sound that never let the crowd rest.
Although pockets of the crowd that stood motionless during a new song or two, fans were splitting the seams of the sold out venue while dancing to the beat of the new song “Tear It Up.” “White Table” was another crowd favorite, as Vasquez performed the Matrix lean while strumming on his guitar.Meanwhile, multi-instrumentalist Kelly Winrich chimed in with drummer Brandon Young for a powerful drum duet. Adding on, bassist Jon Jameson and guitarist Will McLaren jumped and slid around on stage like a more chill, indie rock version of James Brown.
An appreciative Vasquez made a fan’s night by presenting him with a concert souvenir—Vasquez’s guitar—“You can keep it.” Vasquez said. “Merry Christmas.”
Again thanking all of us Chicagoans for coming out to see them play, Vasquez revealed to the crowd other things he loves about Chicago: “You guys have really good food and as a rule of thumb, you guys are pretty good drunks. Happy late St. Patty’s Day!”
In a self proclaimed “Act II,” Vasquez got the crowd hyped up with “Bushwick Blues.” There was a moment in “People C’mon,” a song that definitely leans more towards the band’s gritty blues roots, where the crowd overpowered the band, singing each lyric at the tops of their lungs. Vasquez chocked up and halted his singing to soak in the admiration of his fans. “Devil Knows You’re Dead” felt like an MTV Unplugged session, while band members were slowly coming back on stage for the encore. Vasquez was the only element lit up on stage making this song more intimate.
Delta Spirit’s confidence was intoxicating. The band is happy that it can finally capture the sound it has been looking for, and so is Chicago.
Setlist for Delta Spirit at The Metro on March 23, 2012:
- “Empty House”
- “White Table”
- “Strange Vine”
- “Tear It Up”
- “Ode to Sunshine”
- “Tellin’ the Mind”
- “Time Bomb”
- “House Built for Two”
- “Bushwick Blues”
- “People C’mon”
- “St. Francis”
- “Devil Knows Your Dead”
- “Money Saves”