Thursday, April 21
Better than: Watching a 3D Delorean music video with paper glasses. (Pitchfork couldn’t spring for the cool plastic ones?!)
Delorean’s Subiza isn’t a challenging album–the most challenging thing about it is the way it won’t let someone listening to it keep still, even if they’re only doing so in passing. It’s summer stereo music, made for beaches, roof decks, and works in any situation where more skin is exposed than covered.
So one could argue that their show at Brooklyn Bowl last night served as an introduction to the warmer months, even if the weather required jackets. Accessorizing wasn’t limited to outerwear last night, either; paper glasses were handed out to guests upon arrival, which made me worry about having misread the show listing–was this only a screening of Delorean’s music videos in 3-D? Turns out the glasses were doled out as a way to promote Pitchfork 3-D, the behemoth webzine’s new 3-D video series; the three-dimensional Delorean clip showcased an astronaut dancing his way across Manhattan with more grace than you’d expect from someone in moon boots.
When the quartet did take the stage, singer Ekhi Lopetegi–looking like the title character from Harold and Maude or maybe Elton John–led the band right into the song, giving the crowd the go-ahead to dance. There was little pause between songs and even less banter, although occasionally keyboard player Unai Lazcano tossed us some jarring but welcome punctuation between songs with airhorns. The way the songs melted into one another worked in the band’s favor, though; bodies didn’t stop moving throughout the hour-long set.
Brooklyn Bowl is somewhat cavernous, and at times the venue swallowed up Lopetegi’s vocals. During what is arguably the band’s biggest hit, “Deli,” he stumbled over the words a bit and looked out to the crowd to catch up, in conjunction with the rhythm of the dancing bodies. That’s not to say anyone was complaining about the vocals; all eyes were focused on Lazcano, who was a one-man hype machine. Every time a song reached the crest, his tomahawk arm and incessant bopping were there to plunge the crowd into a heap of synths and drums.
The set closed with “Real Love,” which has a primal beat and stretches of synth that could get even the most stoic concertgoer moving (indeed, this was the one song that brought Lopetegi to life). The mass of sweaty bodies and blissful expressions that tumbled out of the venue once the show let out brought to mind the summer and its endlessly stretched-out nights.
Critical bias: I saw these guys last March, and it was the first time I’ve seen someone crowdsurf at Mercury Lounge (Also, the guitarist had a broken collarbone at that show; judging by his dance moves, it seems seems to have healed quite nicely.)
Overheard: “These guys are from, like, Spanish Spain.”
Random notebook dump: 3-D glasses are one of mankind’s great equalizers, because nobody looks cool in them.