Quick Concert Review: Devotchka

I’m entirely unsure how to describe the experience I just had seeing Devotchka perform live at Washington, DC’s 9:30 Club.  I am sure, however, that it was rather mind-blowing and that the five members of Denver’s Devotchka share a preternatural musical virtuosity. And, I’m quite sure that I’ve never seen anything like it.

Start with the fact that you apparently cannot be a member of this band unless you play at least three instruments at an exceptionally high level. Continue with the fact that those instruments include unconventional rock-show-instruments like the flute, the tuba, the trumpet, the accordion, the xylophone, and various other strings that serve as a fitting background to Nick Urata’s always incredible and frequently spine-chilling vox. Complete the experience with the visual of two nubile and clearly strong-in-their-core young women scaling the heights of the venue using their bare hands, feet, impressive upper body strength, and two parallel pieces of persimmon-colored fabric.

I can say without a doubt that their albums do no justice to their incredible talent, and also that their genre-hopping compositions will evoke the image of a gypsy riding through a spaghetti western accompanied by a mariachi band…a mariachi band with turbo-folk influences.  Ahh yes, the first time in my life that I’ve referenced that Yugoslav musical mainstay, turbo-folk, in a non-derogatory manner. Suffice to say that if you like to be pleasantly surprised…if you like seeing incredibly talented and well-schooled musicians plying their trade….if you like seeing scantily-clad women with ridiculous upper-body strength performing feats of strength…then seeing Devotchka is an absolute must-do event.


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