The Canadian duo Death From Above 1979 is back in action and there wasn’t any better way of showing Los Angeles than an intimate show at the Troubadour to kick off their European/North American tour this Fall.
After outlining the streets of Santa Monica Boulevard hours before the sold out show, fans piled inside to witness the ongoing filming of DFA’s new music video for their highly anticipated LP, The Physical World. Energy was already running high inside the legendary music venue, however, once word spread that DFA was also filming a music video at the show, it was difficult to determine if this enhanced the setting or burst DFA’s building bubble. This long awaited bubble has been growing as fans and press have waited for a follow up to their debut record, You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine released a decade ago. For ten years fans of the duo have waited patiently, even enduring a breakup from the pair, however patience proved rewarding after they repaired their differences to band together. Sharing the stage with Mellowdrone’s frontman, Jonathan Bates’ solo project, Big Black Delta, Bates helped reel in the floating bodies away from merch tables and against walls. The opening act helped channel the necessary energy to grab on lookers attention and forget the roaming guys with large cameras filming every angle. Although Bates’ performance was fun and more of a dance tone – the mere visual of a bass drum kit and Bates dancing as vocals while hitting the synths seemed to take away from the visual anticipation that is Death From Above 1979. The pairing of the two bands was understandable, however the visual stimulate seemed redundant and took away from the headliner.
It was a completely full house once ten o’clock rolled around. A black sheet fell, revealing large decal mirrors of DFA ‘s trademark logo; their faces etched with elephant trunks replacing their nasal and mouth cavity, stood tall as the backdrop. A drum kit baring the same logo on the bass took stage left for Sebastien Grainger, leaving stage right open for guitarist Jesse F. Keeler. Strobe lights lit up the stage as Grainger lead the way sporting only a pair of white overalls as Keeler followed, guitar in hand dressed in all black. With a coy smile across both of their faces, it was easy to see how natural it felt to be back up on the stage. Ignoring the fact that both Grainger and Keeler had both been on hiatus, the jump back into their first track, “You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine,” propelled the crowd into a frenzy. Well, either they did or the fact that there were three different cameras whirling around front stage.
The boys provided a strong list of tracks, showcasing high energy and never falling out of sync with what the crowd was begging for. Each new song threw the crowd back to their 2004 album whereas others highlighted new tracks off their upcoming Physical World album. Half way through the set Grainger came across some technical difficulties with his kit resulting in a small intermission of Keeler sharing stories about the last time they performed at the Troubadour nearly ten years ago. The story sharing added a soft personal touch to the set as the two laughed, adding details here and there about their experience. This helped eased knowing one of the facts that contributed to their disbandment was due to disagreements between the two.
Once everything was screwed on tight and situated, Keeler took to his guitar and grooved right into one of their new tracks, “Gemini.” The floorboards above on the balcony rattled as a whirlwind of bodies circulated below into a moshpit. It took nearly forty five minutes into the set for fans to finally fully engage in the mass amount of punk/dance sound spewing from the speakers. Either it was a late reaction, or merely a coincidence that the cameras had finally shied away, allowing people to disengage and simply enjoy the last of the set in peace. Whatever it was, the encore that Death From Above 1979 dished out finally consisted of their newly released single, “Trainwreck 1979” as well as a throwback with “Little Girl.” With the crowd already in tune with the new lyrics and familiar spunk of what is Death From Above, it seems to be safe to say their worries about what people might have to say about their new album won’t be anything to fear.
Check out their new upcoming album Physical World out September 9th.
You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine
Turn It Out
Blood On Our Hands
White Is Red