Jun 21 2009
Perhaps my favorite story from this years Bonnaroo happened on the first night. The day, spent obtaining press passes and setting up campsites in the rain, was anything but magical. Nervous faces and knotted stomachs were a sign of the apprehension, but people maintained hope for a positive, pleasant weekend.
Poncho on, we headed in to catch the White Rabbits, Chairlift and Passion Pit. The shows did not disappoint and the crowd was just happy to see some music. I’ll expound on those shows later, but the real treat of the night came in the form of California natives Delta Spirit. Originally set to go on at their 7 p.m. slot, the poor guys were stuck in a Dallas airport as their stage time passed. I can only imagine their shock when they found out that they would be going on after Passion Pit–12:30 a.m, This Tent, in the pouring rain.
Occasionally clarifying their anxious bewilderment with bits of banter that included “thank you for listening,” and “we definitely aren’t the best band out here,” Delta Spirit exemplified raw, honest energy better than any band I had the pleasure listening to all weekend. Though I didn’t catch the whole show, I was assured that their hour long, last-minute set was full of folk-infused, no frills Delta rock. Lead-singer Matthew Vasquez led the band with authority and an ear-to-ear grin, culminating with “People C’mon,” a call-to-arms for wandering souls. As he screamed, “And I’ll be wondering all, for all my years. What I become no one can say!” I was sold. The crowd cheered and fed off their raw energy. I can say, without a doubt, that whatever was lost in inexperience and nervousness was more than made up for with sheer enthusiasm.
What would have been a normal festival run serendipitously turned into a once-in-a-lifetime, Cinderella-story. I can only hope that the press and attention resulting from such a story will bring Delta Spirit closer to being required listening and competing with the best we have to offer.
The only reason I had even heard about Delta Spirit was from a particularly wonderful “Take-Away Show” at La Blogotheque. As I still know very little about these dudes, the video says more than I ever could about the band and their sound. Check it out the whole article here.
In 2010, Delta Spirit will issue the follow-up to their debut, Ode to Sunshine, with an LP entitled Natalie Portman Says This Album Will Change Your Life. (via)
I’m very very excited. Plus: More Bonnaroo reviews, live tracks and pictures coming this week…