I have to admit I haven't been as excited about going to a concert as I was going to Deer Tick's performance at Spaceland.
I have been playing and replaying both of their CDs ad nauseum for the past few months. I think they truly are the best band around right now, and I am quite a tough critic.
I showed up early for the gig, which I usually don't like to do, but this time it was worth it.
The opening band – Dawes — had the crowd (me included) mesmerized from the first guitar strums of "That Western Skyline." I usually don't even show up for the openers, and if I do, I don't pay much attention, but it was impossible not to fall in love with the California quartet.
Their blend of '70s California Country-Rock and sweet Americana harmonies had me hooked; great vocals, great instrumentation and a brilliant live performance. They looked like veterans inhabiting the bodies of 20-something guys. Simply fantastic.
I picked up their disc, "North Hills" at the show. It's really great, and I hear they have recently signed to a major label… Congrats boys, you deserve it! If you're a fan of The Band, Gram Parsons, The Eagles or Wilco, definitely check these guys out…
That brings me to Deer Tick. All I can say is — wow! What a show.
Opening with several songs from their stellar new disc, "Born On Flag Day," they peppered the set with gems from their debut ("War Elephant") plus great cover songs.
Joseph John McCauley and Co. sounded like a band that has been together for 20 years, when in reality it's more like three years. Not one second went by that the sold-out crowd wasn't completely engaged. A beautiful, mellow version of fan favorite "Dirty Dishes" led straight into a raucous rave-up of "Straight Into A Storm" then the boys effortlessly broke into a cover of Tom Petty's classic "Breakdown," and closed the set with an amazing version of Santo & Johnny's hypnotizing "Sleepwalk" (look it up — you'll know the tune) leading into a spirited rendition of Richie Valens classic "La Bamba" — a great, fitting tribute to a fallen hometown legend.
Like I said about their CD in this column recently — do yourself a favor — go see Deer Tick (and Dawes) NOW!
To see more photos of Deer Tick and Dawes in action, CLICK HERE!