Distributing cabbage was just one of the theatrical ploys that Darwin Deez utilized in his Thursday show at the Echo. Between original songs, the New York-based four piece erupted into paroxysms of choreographed dance routines to tracks from Earth Wind and Fire, Enya, and Rage Against the Machine. To top it off, frontman Darwin Smith spat rhymes in an extended pseudo-freestyle hip hop interlude, repeatedly urging fans to “getchya cabbage up” and chant “I’m frugal!”
In leaving the Echo, however, fans didn’t dismiss the antics as cheap gimmicks. Rather, they walked away from the cabbage-littered venue inculcated with the same celebratory, fun-loving inspiration that fuels all of Darwin Deez’ work. The genuine optimism documented in their self-titled debut LP energized the live performance, yet in an exceedingly organic form: Smith playfully modified his vocal hooks with new phrasings and live drums replaced the primitive electric percussion of the Deez’s record.
Darwin Deez ultimately succeeded at the Echo, securing a special bond through extravagant audience-interaction without the slightest hint of pretense. With the news of a second album in the works, Deez left fans in anticipation for further heartfelt merrymaking.