Divine Fits features Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Britt Daniel from Spoon. Watching the new act at the Bootleg last night was probably a lot like watching a Phoenix rise from the ashes. Boeckner served as lead singer and guitarist, while Daniel played bass.
L.A. veterans Abe Vigoda opened up the show at 10 with a tightly wound set and some nervous banter between songs. With so much anticipation among the crowd, even this staple of the local indie scene seemed anxious to get through their set. As they wrapped up, they encouraged people to come closer to the stage if only to get a better spot for the headliner.
Divine Fits took the stage to a rapturous applause, starting off with "Flaggin A Ride," one of five originals from their forthcoming debut album (out August 28) featuring Daniel on vocals. With his day job, Daniel steals the spotlight at all times. But even when he's handling vocals with Divine Fits, guitarist Dan Boeckner manages to come across as the heart of the band, particularly on "Flaggin' A Ride," when he lets the delay pedal sizzle to close out the song.
For the rest of their set, Boeckner flailed around on stage, stabbing at his guitar and improvising extended outros for nearly every song. The hard stomping rhythm of "Salton Sea" played out in to a cover of The Wipers' "Doom Town," which could easily be seen as a tongue in cheek tribute to L.A., where Boeckner and Daniel now both reside. A few songs later, they reached in to a cover of Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky," and managed to take both songs to new heights.
After watching Divine Fits perform live, it's clear that they're not in it for a cash grab. These guys really enjoy playing with each other. During "For Your Heart," a standout from their debut, Daniel even bent down for a couple minutes to tweak and experiment with Boeckner's pedal rack as he played.
At times it was almost awkward to watch Daniel take the backseat to Boeckner's commanding presence. But it worked out well, and there was really no room for complaints. The crowd gave one of the most warm and receptive applauses I've heard; everyone seemed to want more, but Daniel insisted, "I'm serious, that's all we have."
Personal Bias: Girls Can Tell is my go-to breakup album.
The Crowd: KCRW yuppies.
Random Notebook Dump: Even though they use an iPad for soundcheck, the Bootleg still sounds better than nearly every other venue in town.
Set list below