DeVotchKa and Crooked Fingers at the Belly Up Chris Mutter
Wednesday night at the Belly Up started with all the signs of a let down. There was the yawning associated with a long day at work, the long drive up to North County combined with the thoughts of the late drive back, and topped off with an opening band that failed to inspire. It was going to take something special to change the mood.
Crooked Fingers had some bright spots. The vocal combination of Eric Bachmann and Miranda Brown fused well and gave the night some hope. Unfortunately the identity crisis of an indie rock / alt country / folk band led to some confusion which failed to turn the direction of the night.
The odds were already stacked pretty high against DeVotchKa when a group of overly obnoxious girls, who were on a mission to out dance their peers no matter how many strangers they bumped into or how off beat they were, made their way into the crowd. At this point it would take a miracle for the night to be salvaged, and DeVotchKa delivered!
As soon as DeVotchKa’s front man, Nick Urata, started whistling his part to “The Enemy Guns” a weight was lifted. The music combined with a powerful lighting arrangement gave the feel of living out a scene from a Tarantino film and transformed the Belly Up into a magical dream. That dream continued throughout the set with a constant rotation of instruments, which kept the music fresh and interesting throughout the rest of the night.
As they continued to play songs such as, “You Love Me,” “Too Tired,” and “Twenty-Six Temptations” the night kept getting better. The climax of the dream occurred during the performance of “How it Ends” when everything in the world was like the song, beautiful. DeVotchKa was beautiful.