De Novo Dahl, the Jimi Austin and Vanessa Peters & Ice Cream On Mondays Thursday, March 20 Hi-Dive
Better than: Watching the Grand Ole Opry on TV
I was floored by De Novo Dahl’s set at Monolith last year, especially the Nashville-based band’s closer “Shout,” which I’m still convinced should be burning up the charts. But the group’s Hi-Dive set fell short of last’s year’s show, which might’ve been due to sparse Thursday night turnout. Before jumping into the first track, singer and guitarist Joel Dahl proclaimed, “We’ve come to exorcize the demons of lethargy,” but keyboardist Matthew Hungate proved to be the band’s chief cheerleader. After the first song, Hungate jumped off the stage and dragged people closer to the band.
During the first three songs, the four guys and one gal looked liked they were really trying to get folks moving and finally succeed upon launching into the fourth cut, the wonderfully infectious “Shout,” which will be the first single from the group’s new album Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound, which hits the stores March 25. The five-piece, clad in sparkly Grand Ole Opry-inspired Nudie get-ups, kept the momentum going and the bodies moving through the next two disco-infused songs. The group then ran through a song that went out to anyone who was made fun of in high school, which was followed by the first song the group ever released.
Dahl then talked about how the group had recorded a version of the Speed Racer theme to be considered for the forthcoming Wachowski brothers live action film based on the animated TV show. Although the brothers rejected De Novo Dahl’s rendition Speed Racer theme at the last minute, the band ran through the its perky take on the tune and gave the crowd a taste of what they would be missing when the film comes out in May.
One of the guys in the Jimi Austin unfortunately left the key to the band’s trailer in Fort Collins, so the band was forced to perform an acoustic set using the guitars owned by Vanessa Peters & Ice Cream On Mondays (who opened the night with a tame folky set of songs). While the Jimi Austin’s acoustic set might not have been as vigorous as when rocking out with electric guitars, the group still turned out a sturdy performance despite using borrowed instruments. Drummer Shane Zweygardt held down the fort with Stewart Copeland-like precision while guitarist Ian Haygood and singer/guitarist Chris Anderson delivered energetic performances. -- Jon Solomon
Critic’s Notebook Personal Bias: De Novo Dahl has a hell of a lot of potential, and it was a bit heartbreaking to see them playing to thirty or so people. Random Detail: De Novo Dahl’s drummer Joey Andrews was playing Full Tilt Poker on his Mac laptop prior to the show. By the Way: De Novo Dahl’s new album will be released on Roadrunner Records, which has long been home to a ton of metal bands.