Team Spirit, Delicate Steve
4Knots Skippers Stage
Saturday, July 14
Better than: The pier burning down.
At about 3:45 yesterday afternoon, I made my way to the front of the boat overlooking the Skippers Stage and wondered why there were so many people who wanted to see Delicate Steve. It’s nothing personal, Steve; the crowd was just so big that it seemed like the Beatles reunited or something. But then, I saw it. Across the water, flames engulfed the end of Pier 17. People weren’t sure what was happening. Some thought the fire started in a trash bin. Others said it was electrical (which turned out to be true). But in true rock ‘n’ roll spirit, Delicate Steve took the stage anyway, fire raging in the background.
Quickly, the band leapt into its carefully crafted guitar-driven sound. Frontman Steve Marion, sporting tight jeans and a black tank top, picked his instrument meticulously, like a surgeon careful at work. Around him, the other band members bounced and swayed, uncertain how long they’d be able to play but clearly doing the best they could with their time on stage.
With pieces of his long hair stuck to his forehead, Marion approached the mic and used his voice as just another instrument, offering ooh-ing and ah-ing rather than any clear lyrics. In front of the flames, the band squeaked through cuts for about about 15 minutes before they were forced to stop. But when they were, Marion, being the professional his is, didn’t fuss; instead, he briefly led everyone in breathing exercises, hoping to stoke relaxation.
Before the fire and Delicate Steve, Team Spirit—the side project of Passion Pit’s Ayad Al-Adhamy—blitzed the Skippers stage for about 35 minutes, zipping through their dynamic and energetic set. Al-Adhamy, sporting a mustache and thick-framed glasses, jumped and yelped around stage, wielding his yellow Telecaster like an M-16. “You’re mouth is moving, I’ll eat you up,” he squealed on “Fuck the Beach,” the group’s lead single (it has an animated music video where the car drives into a giant, psychedelic creature’s vagina). Later, he cried, “You know your attitude is keeping you on top.”
Their energy high, Team Spirit acted a bit like cheerleaders for fans of rock ‘n’ roll. At one point, about two-thirds of the way through the set, a mosh pit wanted to break out near the stage. It was promptly stopped, but not before Al-Adhamy offered his advice: “Fuck that. Let it happen!” Maybe, but then again, that’s how a fire gets started, right?
Critical bias: My dad is a volunteer firefighter.
Overheard: “He’s like a Persian Elvis,” in reference to Al-Adhamy.
Random notebook dump: FIRE!!!!!!!!!