Photo: Neil Ferguson
Divine Fits at Beerland
Divine Fits played one of their very first live shows in front of a sold out audience at Beerland on Wednesday night. Review by Neil Ferguson.
Spoon’s Britt Daniel has earned the status of royalty in the Austin music scene. An accomplished and revered musician, Daniel has the rare luxury of getting to play any Austin venue he chooses. On Wednesday night he chose the divey and dungeonesque club known as Beerland to publicly debut his newest project, Divine Fits, a supergroup of sorts made up of Daniel, Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs, Alex Fischel and Sam Brown.
The buzz surrounding Divine Fits has been electric since they announced the project, and excitement filled the air as a capacity crowd, including a gaggle of photographers, squeezed as close to stage as they could get. As soon as the band kicked off the set with “Flaggin’ a ride,” it was clear that those looking for a rehashed version of Spoon aren’t going to find it in Divine Fits.
The band’s sound is a strikingly different style of synth-pop with a thrashy garage rock edge. On first listening it sounded like Britt and the boys started a basement band for fun, complete with a slamming drumbeat and distorted guitars. However, the music takes on a whole new form when keyboard player Alex Fischel starts pounding away on the synth, giving the music a dance beat that gets you grooving before you even realize it.
Throughout the roughly 60 minute set Britt and Dave swapped guitars back and fourth as if competing to see who could rock harder. While rocking was inevitable, songs such as “My Love Is Real” have a tranced out eighties club feel akin to songs like “Tainted Love.” Did I mention that Divine Fits also plays a pretty mean cover? Rowland Howard’s “Shivers,” “Doom Town” by The Wipers, and Tom Petty’s “You Got Lucky” were all thrown in to the set and were great choices for the band to play.
Beerland was a peculiar choice of venue considering that it holds around 140 people and the band could have easily sold out a much larger club. However, the band wasn’t there to sell out. They were there to test out their sound in front of an attentive local audience before hitting the road, and judging by the crowd’s reaction, the test was a success.
Flaggin a Ride
Baby Get Worse
What Gets You Alone
Would That Not be Nice
Shivers (Rowland Howard Cover)
My Love is Real
Like Ice Cream
For Your Heart
Doom Town (Wipers Cover)
You Got Lucky (Tom Petty Cover)
[NOTE: Divine Fits also played a secret show on Tuesday night under a pseudonym at the Continental Club. Check out videos of the performance HERE.