Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Review: Ben Kweller/Delta Spirit, the HiFi, October 5 2010

I'd like to thank the HiFi for giving me tickets to this show. I didn't even know about it until I entered the competition in their email, and I was mighty surprised to win. Luckily, my roomate is a Ben Kweller fan, so it wasn't hard to find someone to go with.

I went along not expecting much, just to enjoy the show. I had heard both bands before and they weren't exactly my scene: more of an alt-country style of music, with Kweller being a singer-songwriter that all the young ladies swooned for. This show blew away all of my expectations.

Delta Spirit from California were the opening band, who on record sound like country/surfwave indie. Nice and relaxing, with some absolutely beautiful songs, but not what I would imagine great live. They obviously had a point to make with me, as they came out with a great wall of sound and noise, nothing like their recordings. Although the crowds weren't into them (there was lots of audible talking in the quieter moments) they kept up a great intensity. At times the band members were running off and coming back with extra drums or rubbish bin lids just to make more noise.

Through all of the noise and energy, they still managed to sing some absolutely beautiful songs. Delta Spirit's song writing is just a step above.

When they finished, I had a look around and was blown away. The HiFi was almost packed like a can of sardines. Ben Kweller had a much bigger and more loyal fan base than I knew. Ben Kweller himself, he was like a baby-faced Dave Mustaine, wearing a camouflague tank top and rocking a rock-star like hangover. Which he kept apologising to the crowd about, in between spraying his throat with both numbing gel and lube.

Ben was backed by 2 absolutely amazing musicians on drums and bass. The bass player was so amazing that I spent most of the show just staring at his quick fingers; he is definitely in the wrong band here. Ben's songs translated well to a large band, and he played up to it. At times he was dancing around dancing to the music and busting out some quite impressive guitar solos.

Surprisingly, I recognized most of his songs. And so did the crowd. Lots of sing alongs. I was extremely sirprised by how great this show was. So thank you HiFi for the free tickets!

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