OK, the holiday weekend is over and I’m finally sober enough to write about The Dirty Projectors show at Chop Suey on Friday night. I’m forcing myself to make this quick. Otherwise you’ll all end up getting annoyed with the veritable geyser of praise that my poor friends put up with as I talked about how their performance was close to a religious experience.
I’ve never found God or any version of any concept of God. But when Angel Deradoorian, Amber Coffman and Haley Dekle were singing, it sounded like a choir. Seriously, I’ve been to Vienna and heard the boys choir there and, yeah, that was amazing, but you know what they lacked? Dave Longstreth’s mind-blowingly fast finger picking talking over and around the flighty sounds of the second guitar. Or maybe the Vienna boys choir could use some of the downright funky bass lines that Nat Baldwin laid down alongside the pristinely cymbolic (pun intended) drumming of Brian Mcomber.
Other than Longstreth’s slightly jilted cry of “Bitte Orca” that seemed to lag behind the rocked out “Useful Chambers” chorus, every single song they played was pitch perfect and an innovative variation of their recorded material. You could tell how happy this band was to be playing together and how good they knew they sounded. Their a’cappella strength was mighty and on this tour they seem all about harnessing a musical sound that people can hang onto as the band “Rise(s) Above” (yes, they did play it).
If you’ve tried to sing along with one of The Dirty Projectors’ songs, you know that the melodies and notes exist stratospheres above our heads. It felt like the band was doing us all a favor by bringing us something that we could dance and damage our vocal chords to. Before they spin off out of our orbit, leaving our only access to their sound as microwaves picked up from millions of years away by NASA, you should see The Dirty Projectors play live. And you should probably go soon; one the lovely ladies may have to return to her home planet where singing in glorious harmony is the only form of communication.