Concert Review: Deap Vally and Band of Skulls

June 6, 2014: Saint Andrew’s Hall, Detroit

After a week that literally felt like it was never going to end, I definitely needed a night to rock out all my stress and frustration. Thankfully Band of Skulls was in town to ensure that I could forget the week I had just had. I’ve been a fan since I stumbled across the band a few years ago, a perfect mix of 70’s rock sound and blues made them an instant hit with me. This year has been very exciting musically for me with bands that I love releasing new music and touring and Himalayan was definitely one of the releases I was most excited for.

I hadn’t done much research into the opening band, Deap Vally, before the show but someone standing behind us in line to get into the venue had gone to the Chicago show the night before and was quite impressed with the duo. He mentioned that one of the crew members had to keep running on stage to give the drummer new sticks because she kept breaking them. Definitely a good sign that the night ahead was going to be a good one.

The venue was pretty packed by the time Deap Vally took the stage. Hailing from L.A., Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards met at a crochet class and it’s been non-stop rock ever since. The girls were even sporting some hats that they had each crocheted and sold after the show.

Deap Vally kicked off their set with “Baby I Call Hell”, a foot stomping track that had the crowd instantly moving. I honestly can’t think of a better band to have opened for Band of Skulls. Deap Vally provided a great set of songs that kept the energy up. Even better, I saw that crew member up on stage for just about every song giving Edwards a new set of drum sticks. “Walk of Shame” was another highlight of the evening, with Troy’s fuzzy guitar and Edwards driving the beat with her erratic drumming, my stress was definitely forgotten by the end of their set.

There are several things that make a great concert. First of all, the music has to sound good. I know it seems like something that should just happen at every concert but it doesn’t. Second, I personally like when the band interacts with the crowd mostly because I think it shows that they are happy to be there performing for you. Something that I think makes it easier for the second thing to happen is the crowd itself. An audience’s excitement is infectious. It makes the other people there excited and it definitely gets the band pumped to be there. I can honestly say that the crowd that had gathered at Saint Andrew’s Hall that night is probably one of the best crowds I’ve seen at a live show in a long time.

From the first notes the crowd was going crazy. Dancing and singing along to every song, it was definitely impossible to resist the energy everyone was putting out there. I could look around and see complete strangers bonding over the experience and the band was definitely enjoying the energy the crowd had. Perhaps the best example was when the band played “Cold Fame”. The lights went out except for the lights above that were set to hit the disco ball and create a prom like experience as the disco ball spun above lighting up the room. “Cold Fame” is one of the bands slower songs and I couldn’t help but laugh as the people around paired up, some with their significant others some with complete strangers and random friends to sway to the music.

I don’t think I could have asked for a better setlist, Band of Skulls seemed to cover just about every one of my favorites and some new songs were definitely added to that list just from hearing them performed live. The band seemed to save the best ones for the encore, eliciting stomping and yelling from the crowd to come back out and play the songs that everyone had come to hear. I could barely hear the band as the crowd sang “Sweet Sour” back to them. It was clear that I was not the only one who didn’t want the evening to end. I would urge anyone to see these guys live as I’m sure it would make anyone a fan. I know I can’t wait until they come back into town.