Dirty Projectors visited Seattle in July while on their summer tour and you could say it’s the best band you’ve likely never heard of, and they’re off to the East Coast for the final wrap of their tour next month! Endorsed by no one less than Paul McCartney, the group consists of frontman David Longstreth, bassist Nat Baldwin, drummer Mike Daniel Johnson, guitarist Maia Friedman, percussionist Felicia Douglass and keyboardist Kristin Slipp. Other than Longstreth however, no members survive from the band’s original formation.
Since the breakup of Longstreth and his longtime girlfriend/collaborator Amber Coffman in 2013, the band undertook a deep transformation. Reverting to a solo act for a heavily electronic/R&B record, and then back into a group for a return to their classic style for their newest album, it’s easy to see why they are an act that defies simplistic description. No two albums from their discography are alike, and from song to song keep every listener on their toes both musically and lyrically.
The setlist consists of a healthy mix of the band’s diverse array of work, with at least a couple tracks from almost all their albums; from the seminal ‘Bitte Orca’ to their recent release ‘Lamp Lit Prose,’ it was an impressive display of Longstreth’s career offerings up till this point.
And what a performance they give! Longstreth takes center stage for the entirety of the show, a good display of his prodigious talent both on the guitar and as a vocalist. But his support are no slouches, all three female members were given at least one song to provide a solo vocal and their voices were strong enough to fill the ShowBox and blow away anybody who thought this was only Longstreth’s band.
But Longstreth was constantly at ease handing over the reins of the show to his bandmates, and interacting with the audience. He even entrusted all of us with backing vocals of the superb opening track to Lamp Lit Prose, ‘Right Now.’
They are currently on a co-headlining tour with fellow alternative pop sensation Deerhunter, swapping opener duties occasionally. We had the pleasure of seeing Dirty Projectors first, but any fan is sure to leave this show energized and smiling.
Their summer tour kicks back up in September with a sweep of the East Coast. If they’re anywhere near your town, get a ticket pronto! The energy brought alone is worth the price of admission. Oh yeah, and the music’s incredible.
- Sept 4 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
- Sept 7 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
- Sept 8 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
- Sept 10 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
- Sept 13 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club