San Diego band The Silent Comedy kicked the evening off with their unique mixture of sound. Rather than just list off all of the different musical styles this band is comprised of it's just easier to picture a band with matching outfits and awesome facial hair playing the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Following The Silent Comedy was local group the Montoya Clan, which features singer Mike Montoya of the band Fatigo. While The Silent Comedy was all about an Americana sound, the Montoya Clan featured a purely traditional Latin sound. In fact, almost all of the songs from this group were sang entirely in Spanish.
While both opening acts were groups that nicely merged different influences and genres together there probably isn't a band around today that does this better than Denver band DeVotchKa. All of the songs the band played last night all seem to have a little bit of a different worldly influence mixed into each song.
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The song "We're Leaving," contained a distinct Latin flavor to it while the song "Such A Lovely Thing" has a much more gypsy-punk vibe and the song "Enemy Guns" feels as if it belongs on the soundtrack to a Robert Rodriguez film. A new song they performed of their recently released album 100 Lovers entitled "100 Other Lovers" seems to ditch some of the bands previous worldly influences for a more pop feel. And if that weren't enough musical genres to get your head spinning they even threw in a cover of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart."
DeVotchKa's ability to switch so effortlessly between genres is due in large part to their incredible musicianship. All of the members of the band pulled double and in some cases triple duty last night with instruments they played. Bandmate Tom Hagerman, for example, switched from piano, to violin and accordion depending on the song.
Of course the bands most powerful instrument is the voice of lead singer Nick Urata. Listening to Urata croon during songs like "You Love Me" and "How It Ends" were almost worth the price of admission alone. Luckily, though, for those that showed up last night you got a lot more than your money's worth out of those two songs.
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Last Night: The Silent Comedy, Montoya Clan, DeVotchKa
Personal Bias: I wasn't a huge DeVotchKa fan coming into last night's show but I may be a bit of a convert now. Also, I was really pleased with the performance from the Montoya Clan last night. I'll be looking forward to catching them again.
The Crowd: Mostly hipsters but a few older folks in the crowd as well.
Random Notebook Dump: The guys from The Silent Comedy have some truly respectable beards.