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Concert Review: Delta Spirit

Cassandra Zahran Cassandra Zahran Concert Review: Delta SpiritPhoto by Cassandra Zahran.
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Last Friday, CD102.5FM and Promowest presented the best rock show I’ve seen in ages.

It was an evening overwhelmed with emotion, rock ‘n roll and an abundance of energy. A show that didn’t cease to lose the attention of the audience for merely a second, Delta Spirit illuminated excessive amounts of charisma and undeniable talent from start to finish.

The five-piece has released four records in the past six years, debuting Into the Wilde this 2014 calendar year. Hailing from the mountains of San Diego and the beaches of Orange County, the five men end their music are as eclectically diverse as a two-headed boy riding a moped with coconuts for wheels. Through their four records and two EP’s, Delta Spirit has accumulated more genres of music than your local, grungy record store. The list of genres only continues to expand as one familiarizes themselves with each Delta Spirit record, the band pulling from influences including: Americana-rock, post pop-punk, country-folk, stripped-down-blues and alternative rock. Incorporating heavy, aggressive rock-driven melodies, screaming vocals, piano-rock riffs and harmonica blues, Matthew Vasquez’s stage presence leaves the ultimate impression. Performing alongside Silversun Pickup’s and the Cloud Nothing’s during CD102.5’s Holiday Show (2014), Columbus has longed for the exuberant amounts of energy that Delta Spirit so graciously presents.

The set began with an ear-splitting applause from the devoted fans crowded in the lower bowl, the Newport Music Hall moderately occupied in attendance.  The five men assumed their positions on stage, successfully embodying their clean-cut, grungy styles. Vasquez, in his signature denim jacket, took stance in the center of the stage, and began the wildly energized set. The first half of the set was a melting pot of tracks amongst all four records, choosing to keep the first half hour dosed with stamina and enthusiasm. Third track in, Delta Spirit played their echoing ballad, “Hold My End Up,” featured on their latest record, slowing building the chorus with each verse. The pronounced drumbeat resembled a heart beat, complimenting Vasquez’s milky vocals, gradually gaining intensity during the five minute track. As Vasquez reached the melody of “I know, you said, you would,” his screaming, trembling voice sparked goosebumps on the necks of the attendee’s, flooding the room with a dense fog of empathy.

A quick transition into the next track shook off the goosebumps and was presented with a “this is for all the old fans!” The crowd immediately joined Vasquez in the verse of the track, “People C’mon,” the soul-rock pouring from the pores of the five men and their instruments. Four tracks into Delta Spirit’s set, and the crowd was overwhelmed with such a performance, displaying their euphoria by clapping and singing in unison with the band– camaraderie at its best.

Track “Take Shelter” made the transition from soul rock towards U2-inspired rhythms and whiny guitar interludes, grooving into one of the band’s most recognized tracks, “Yamaha.” The last track on Delta Spirit’s self titled record is an emotional release. Whether familiar with the track or not, there is a universal theme that so intensely resonates with every ear. The first chord of the keys melted into the air, the crowd’s reaction extraordinary. The screaming and applause abruptly dissolved as the crowd lifted their hands to their hearts and shut their eyes, absorbing Vasquez’s alleviating vocals. The slow progression of the track is therapeutic yet anxiety-inducing, the urge of wanting to burst into a million pieces of happiness, sadness, love and sorrow, is aggressively apparent.

The five men’s vitality surged through the hour and thirty minute set, playing tracks “Language of the Dead,” “Patriarch,” “Children,” White Table” and single, “California.” Vasquez oscillated from keys, guitar and harmonica, all whilst engaging with the audience in such genuineness. After a interjection from the audience, “Matt! Play some of your old sh*t!” Matt sprang over to his keyboard, and yelled, “How about this one?!” violating the keyboard with track “Trashcan.” The Newport and Delta Spirit were a team, and Vasquez was leading the team into one hell of an evening.

The audience’s desperate cheering and no intention of leaving welcomed Delta Spirit to the stage for their three song encore. Playing three versatile tracks, from three seperate records, Delta Spirit began their encore with “Devil Knows Your Dead,” “Into the Wilde”and finished with “People Turn Around.” The bluesiness of the harmonica, duel drum kit, and unmistakable bass closed on the evening in unity, Vasquez cooing his lyrics “Well, it’s time all you people to turn around/for the life we’ve been living, messing around.” Concluding the night with the mic stand in his hands, raised as if it was Simba in “The Circle of Life,” Delta Spirit thanked Columbus for their evening, and we thanked them right back.

For more info, visit www.deltaspirit.net.

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