1. Devotchka’s cover of The Velvet Underground classic “Venus in Furs” may actually be better than the original. Their rendition had a vocal languor that countered the darkness of the original as the band turned a psych-rock-proto-shoe-gaze classic into gypsy-folk-trance-rock-hoedown and back again. Believe it or not, I could have probably used more hyphens to try to accurately describe this rendition.
2. Devotchka can bring an orchestra’s worth of sound with just four people. There are so many multi-cultural influences, spanning at least 12 different instruments and at least 12 different nations, it’s hard to believe they so honestly replicate these styles with only four members from…Denver. Even the more minimalist presentation of songs, such as “How It Ends,” had the power to elevate men’s souls. Women’s, too.
3. Their new album, A Mad and Faithful Telling is an all too well-kept secret. Blame it on my months out of the country, but I didn’t even know they had a new album. I am certain I am not the only one. This must change.
4. Nick Urata’s looks and bluster on-stage will never cease to remind me of Morrissey. For the most part, this is a good thing.
5. Tom Hagerman’s violin mic went dead during the closing song “Enemy Guns,” but the enthusiastic crowd more than made up for it. Instead of an eight-second solo, Hagerman picked up his banana shaker, and shook away. Either the crowd mistook it for a clap breakdown or just wanted to help pick up the slack, but the moment worked flawlessly. Proving somebody ‘up there’ likes Devotchka, Hagerman’s mic came back for the last verse of the song. I love a happy ending.
TEXT & PHOTO BY CHRIS ZAKORCHEMNY
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: Venus In Furs