Delta Spirit, SACCO, and Deep Sea Diver played a sold-out show at the Fillmore on October 25, and though the transitions in between sets dragged on, ultimately, the wait was worth it. The three bands had similar sounds, but were definitely distinct, and unified more than anything by the sincerity in their music.
Vertical black and white stripes were the backdrop as Deep Sea Diver opened up the night. Frontwoman Jessica Dobson’s earnest vocals and guitar playing were the driving force of Deep Sea Diver’s performance, but Peter Mansen (drums), Garrett Gue (bass), and Elliot Jackson (guitar/keyboard) were equally important in creating Deep Sea Diver’s unique sound. Their last song, “You Go Running,” was slightly evocative of Yeasayer, with a fun hook and a jungle sound, making it the most danceable song in their set.
Deep Sea Diver’s set ended around 9:30pm, but — after a long soundcheck — it wasn’t until 10pm that SACCO took the stage.
John Fredericks and Andy Breihan, SACCO’s two co-frontmen, interacted with each other onstage, often meeting mid-stage to rally guitar playing between each other. Although SACCO did address the crowd at times, what stood out most from their performance was the appearance that they were playing for each other, not the audience, giving them an air of authenticity.
People continued to file into the Fillmore during the next soundcheck, and when the lights dimmed again, a projector displayed a video of a scene from a forest over the backdrop. Soon after, Delta Spirit — Jonathan Jameson on bass, Brandon Young on drums, Matthew Vasquez on vocals/guitar, Kelly Winrich playing various instruments, and William McLaren on guitar — came on stage. Throughout the show, the videos ranged from ocean to city to boardwalk, and shifting color gradients and varying light patterns at others. The projections always suited the music and created some truly magical moments. Equally as spectacular was frontman Matthew Vasquez’s charisma, which kept the audience enthralled all the way til the show ended, around 12:40am.
It was as though Vasquez and the audience had a symbiotic relationship, where each energized the other. Delta Spirit’s set felt like arriving at a party where all your friends are as your favorite song plays in the background, and Vasquez was the party’s host, who would do everything to ensure that you’d have a good time.
In addition, emotions were in abundance throughout the whole show — “Live On” was introduced as being about the “five big moments that make up your life;” if you weren’t feeling something — nostalgia, love, longing — you had to have lacked a pulse.
This isn’t to say that it was a pure evening of crying and catharsis: it was, through and through, a wild, entertaining show. Juxtaposed with the tenderness of the lyrics of “Take Shelter,” for example, Vasquez balanced his guitar on his head as the audience cheered, and during “People C’mon” the crowd was jumping around, waving their hands, and singing. More notably, during “Trashcan,” Vasquez carried McLaren on his shoulders.
After playing “Yamaha,” during which the projector displayed images of the sea that felt poignant, Delta Spirit paused, mentioning how glad they were to be playing The Fillmore a third time, and went into “Bushwick Blues,” a song that is quintessential Delta Spirit, sincerely emotional — Vasquez, in a rugged voice, declares, “Because my love is strong / And my heart is weak / After all” — guitars meshing together with drums and keyboard full of energy keep the song from being overly cheesy, and making for an invigorating track. Live, this was translated to Jameson’s and McLaren’s movements around stage.
Delta Spirit concluded their “official” (they had already made it clear that they’d be back for an encore) set with “White Table,” during which the audience never ceased clapping to the beat and crooning “Oooh oooh oooh” along with Vasquez. The band left the stage and the video shifted to static, and the cheering and applause commenced.
After returning to the stage, Vasquez riled up the crowd into chants of “encore!” before they resumed playing. After “Devil Knows You’re Dead,” Vasquez mentioned that they really wanted to play this next song for us, which is “about our national parks.” He talked about the beauty of Yosemite and asked us to think about the natural places around us, beginning to play “Into the Wild,” the eponymous track from their newest album, just released September 9th. The lighting was crucial in the creation of ethereal moments during the song — at one point, the lights dimmed almost completely, so that the audience stood in darkness broken by tiny spheres of light projected on stage, which slightly illuminated the band.
The following song was less sublime: it was growing later and later, and many of the audience members had been there for close to four hours by then, so their attentiveness was diminishing; however, Delta Spirit maintained their vitality, though they must have been fatigued after how zealously they played the whole set. This helped revitalize the audience, and when it was all over, Delta Spirit had captivated and delighted us all.
Article by Dainiz Almazan