Divine Fits at Bluebird Theater, 12/14/12
The outfit didn't make us wait long before coming back on stage. That was when Daniel told us, with all sincerity, "This is one of my favorite shows ever. We sat back stage judging you, and you did okay, Denver." After every song, there was so much cheering and enthusiasm, it would have been a complete affront to the truth to disagree with him. It felt like a show where everyone you ran into loved this band. Daniel even pointed out a woman down front who had been to the previous two shows, as well, and he genuinely thanked her for coming to "three in a row."
Tom Murphy Divine Fits at the Bluebird Theater in Denver last night
For our effort, Divine Fits gave us two final songs, both covers. The first, "Sway," a Rolling Stones cover, which was an interesting reinvention of the song to make it more R&B in a way. The last was its inspired take on "Shivers" by the Boys Next Door. It was here that, once again, Boeckner and Daniel stood up high, as though being pulled along by their respective instruments and then crouched down and explored the guitars as noise makers beyond their inherent musical properties. Daniel lifted the Telecaster Thinline high in the air at the very end and closed the show with a simple "Thank you so much."
Tom Murphy Achille Lauro at Bluebird Theater
The sole opening act of the evening was Denver's Achille Lauro. This set was, appropriately enough, a more R&B inflected arrangement of the band's already compelling blending of elements that might not work together as well if anyone else was doing it. Hip-hop beats undergirded some of the music, but the expressive and urgent guitar work coming from Luke Mossman and John Evans's James Jamerson-esque, smooth, funky bass work locked in with Ben Mossman's sensitive percussion and gave Matt Close a vehicle to seemingly float in space with his soulful vocals, even as he emoted forcefully to punctuate choruses.
It would be impossible and pointless to highlight the stylistic flourishes that make up Achille Lauro's music, but it was interesting to hear Luke and Close play a guitar style that could be described as surf reggae without it seeming silly. These guys take what could be silly in anyone else's hands and make it fun and beautiful -- even the downtempo cover of Biz Markie's "Just A Friend." Someone in the audience kept yelling "Summertime," and right before the end, Achille Lauro indulged the request.
Personal Bias: Been a Spoon fan since Girls Can Tell came out, I've liked The New Bomb Turks and Wolf Parade, as well. This band I like at least as much, if not more.
Random Detail: Divine Fits had these great Kelly green T-shirts at the merch booth with an image of poet and playwright Vladimir Mayakovsky behind the name of the band. This speaks well for Divine Fits in my book. Yes, the guy is mentioned in the song "My Love is Real."
By the Way: I saw ten of the best shows I've seen in my life this year before tonight. This was number eleven.
Bluebird Theater - 12/14/12
Baby Get Worse
Flaggin A Ride
What Gets You Alone
Would That Not Be Nice
My Love is Real
You Got Lucky (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover)
The Salton Sea
Like Ice Cream
For Your Heart
Sway (Rolling Stones cover)
Shivers (The Boys Next Door cover)