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2010 04 29 – 6928 – Baltimore – Rams Head Live – DeVotchKa


2010 04 29 – 6928 – Baltimore – Rams Head Live – DeVotchKa

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2010 04 29 – 6928 – Baltimore – Rams Head Live – DeVotchKa
Baltimore life
Image by thisisbossi
My first opinion of DeVotchKa came from observing the merch… some nice shirts, but the faux-Cyrillic on the shirts really irked me — it used Cyrillic-looking letters but still read a Romanised "DeVotchKa". So my opinion started out low…

Oftentimes I find that when I go into something with high expectations — be it food, a movie, or a rock show — I’m more prone to getting let down. Conversely, if I’m expecting something less than satisfactory: I’ll only further appreciate quality when it proves me wrong.

DeVotchKa proved me wrong. During setup, I couldn’t help but be excited when the string bass sitting at the back of the stage got relocated toward the front. And then my roommate pointed out the old-style microphone just added to the stage. And then out came a sousaphone. And violins. And an accordian. And several more instruments. Either this was a massive group with a lot of complexity; or a small group with a tremendous amount of talent.

The latter ended up being true: wow, what an amazing amount of skill. The bass alternated between using the string bass and also the sousaphone. I’ve seen sousaphone used as brass accompanyment… but never as the sole bass rhythm for a rock group. And the violinst (who would regularly alternate with with an accordian) actually had a dominating role… all too often, the strings are relegated to background accompanyment, so this was a very welcome change.

With a very folkish flair befitting of eastern Europe, they made a great segway for Gogol… while they were comparatively low-key & relaxed (some songs could have been fitting on a Buddha Bar album), their style was right up the alley of everyone in the room. Their last couple songs had quite a bit more energy, only reinforcing that if ever there was an appropriate opening act for Gogol Bordello: these guys were it.

To top off a catchy set, one song brought out a downright attractive girl who did some crazy acrobatics on a curtain that had been otherwise dormant the rest of the night. From her performance, I would have very well proposed to her if given the opportunity… sure it would’ve been for mostly wrong reasons, but there’d be a whole lifetime to discover her personality. Her beauty, grace, and extreme strength & flexibility made me start wondering whether I’d have enough battery life left over to get photos of Gogol Bordello.

Overall, these guys were phenomenal… their constant changing lineup of instruments kept some variety, and if I ever hear that they’re returning to the area: I’ll definitely be there.

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