I’m not going to criticize anyone for scheduling Delorean‘s Friday night show at The Echo (capacity: 300ish) rather than at its downstairs sister-venue, the much larger Echoplex (capacity: 700ish). I speculate that because the last time the Spaniards were in town was as an opener for jj and the powers that be figured they probably wouldn’t be headliners in the matter of a couple months. Plus, I’m also willing to guess that attendance wasn’t that high for that show, because it was held on April 17th, the middle-day of a small festival that happens about 100 miles away and appeals to the core audience for a jj/Delorean show. Either way, this Delorean show, with the four-piece as the headliner, was beyond sold-out, with hordes of fashionable bohemians roaming Sunset Blvd looking for extra tickets while the faithful lined up outside the front door, banking on a loose promise (though it is a tradition) that the venue would release extra tickets at show time, based on the actual attendance versus the ticket sales. It is a cool thing for them to do; however, at that point, it’s pretty much a sardine can inside. And if there’s one thing I know about concerts in general, venues at maximum occupancy are not comfortable.
By the time the headliner took the stage around 11 o’clock, fans were ready to dance (or hipster-dance, you know, bob their head, and, occasionally, “accidentally” grind on the girl near you who looks like an extra from Working Girl) and let go of the work-week anxiety. Now, Delorean only played seven songs for their set with no encore. If you were to tell me this before I saw them, however, I would have thought that was bullshit for a headliner to play a set that short and I’d tell you that I was confused because, though I haven’t heard anything released before last year’s Ayrton Senna EP, they have an extensive back catalogue and could easily fill a larger time-slot. Well, nothing, from the set length to the mildly controversial volume levels, was a poor choice and Delorean quickly raised its place in both my esteem and always evolving listening cycles. In short, they were fantastic. And since I am going to let The Echo slide on the venue choice, I will call out Coachella for not booking this group for the festival when they were already in town. Bad call Coach, shoulda given them Sly Stone’s spot
I wouldn’t say Delorean’s jams sounded drastically different from album versions (think Animal Collective’s melodies as made by Cut Copy), as all but one were recognizable to me. But with extended intros that emphasized parts of songs that were not the riff I generally associated with said song, it was often a minute or so until the audience would realize they knew and liked the song they were (mildly) dancing to. But it was the energy of the band, particularly the non-stop dancing of keyboardist Unai Lazcano and the powerful rhythms of drummer Igor Escudeo, that was engrossing, almost hypnotic. I think they might have passed out if they tried to play more songs. Within a few numbers, the venue was moving in ways I didn’t think hipsters had in them and from there it was just a band feeding off a crowd and vice-versa for 45 sweaty minutes. Hell, the outskirts of the floor were like post-apocalyptic raves, where looking at the dancers made you want make them some soup as much as hang out with them.
“Stay Close” from the group’s recent release Subiza was a clear fan favorite, but Delorean managed to devote nearly half the set to songs from the Ayrton Senna EP, and nearly every song in the set had at least a few enthusiasts scream out when it became recognizable. “Seasun” worked great as an opener, allowing them to ease into the performance, while “Moonsun” was a pleasant surprise for me because I expected them to lean on the new record more. In fact, even though they have been playing their newest material for a little while now, their older songs still seemed more polished, like the band had figured them out live
And then there was the volume. My older brother used to say “If it’s too loud, you’re too old.” I, personally, have been going to enough shows (and just can’t stomach the thought of earplugs) that I almost always wear a beanie with ear flaps to protect my hearing. Yes, it gets hot sometimes, but I can always hear just fine when the show is complete. On Friday, I saw a girl plugging her ears and heard many people complaining after the show had ended about the volume being excessive, especially the bass. The bass wasn’t just the kind you could feel, but you could literally feel the air move as the bass pumped out. But yeah, loud music should be anticipated at any show, it’s kind of why everyone is there. It’s also why nearly everyone there is young. Do what you got to do and so will Delorean.
Providing support was Teengirl Fantasy, a two DJ group that should probably not be researched while at work. Just a word of advice there. But do look into them if you are ignorant like I was, as they were also completely impressive like the headliners, but much different in sound, combining R&B samples, noise rock, and traditional electronic beats, builds, and drops. Like a less-spazzy Flying Lotus. They also include awesome visuals behind them (something Delorean did lack, but it wasn’t missed) to add to the vibes each track seemed to convey. It took a while to realize it was danceable; that, in fact, it was actually dance music, but when it was noticed, you couldn’t believe that these guys weren’t more successful avant-garde club DJs. Then you realized there are no successful avant-garde club DJs. Not convinced? Check out their website, straight from 1995. Did you click on the random stuff? God, I hope you did. But yeah, really exciting music to listen to and they are releasing their debut LP on Matador-owned True Panther in the near future
Grow (Not sure about this one. If you were there, let me know…)