Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Aug 6th, 2012

Dirty Projectors @ The Wiltern, 7/28/12

It looks like Dirty Projectors are on tour again, and they’re sounding better than ever.

On Saturday, Baltimore natives, Wye Oak served as a worthy opening act. The artistic duo is an indie-rock band, with heavy folk influences; what makes their sound unique is their experimentation with noise and dream pop. Jen Wasner, lead vocalist and killer guitarist, has a folky soulful quality that rivals that of Sharon van Etten, While one man band, Andy Stack, played both drums and keyboard simultaneously, and at one point was behind his drum kit grooving on a bass. It was inconceivable that these thick layers of sound surfaced from merely two people. They performed songs from their album Civilian, which has been featured on TV shows “The Walking Dead” and “18 Miles Out,” as well as new tracks that were received well by the crowd.

After a thirty-minute intermission the lights fell low, and the audience exploded as the Dirty Projectors Logo appeared on stage. David Longstreth, former Yale student, has surrounded himself with a blue-chip troupe that has obviously thoroughly rehearsed their crafts. The experimental pop band has had many band members, but the current line-up, in addition to front man, Longstreth, featured Amber Coffman on vocals and guitar, Haley Dekle on vocals, synths and percussion, Olga Bell on vocals and keyboards, Nat Baldwin on bass, and Michael Johnson on drums. Angel Deradoorian, the band’s female background singer whose rippling pipes have assisted in defining the eccentric Dirty Projectors sound, was missing in action. Deradoorian is also absent from their newest album entitled Swing Lo Magellan.

They began the show with “Swing Lo Magellan,” the second track of their eighth, and newly released album, which was a low-key beginning to the show, but they quickly followed the vintage Dylan-esque tune with the pseudo R&B track, “Offspring Are Blank,” which features a boisterous Hip-Hop beat. Longstreth continued to show off his soulful side with “Maybe That Was It” a blues infused mournful cry that wailed vocally as well as instrumentally, as he filled the theater with melancholic guitar solos.

It’s safe to say that the girls stole the show with their arranged vocal orchestrations. In songs like “Useful Chamber” and “Beautiful Mother” they used syncopated vocal tricks and high ranges to astonish. When the set ended, an ovation of applause, summoned the band out once more, for a three-song encore. Once they dusted off “Stillness is the Move,” the first single from 2009’s Bitte Orca, there were no stagnant bodies, as Amber Coffman pulled off her Mariah Carey-esque, ear-piercing high note every time, and the audience danced the concert to a close. The alliance of genres was wonderfully carried out. The mishmash of energy, stage graphics, and talent made for a unique delectable show.

Set List:

“Swing Lo Magellan”
“Offspring Are Blank”
“About to Die”
“See What She Seeing”
“The Socialites”
“Cannibal Resource”
“Gun Has No Trigger”
“No Intention”
“Beautiful Mother”
“Maybe That Was It”
“Just From Chevron”
“Useful Chamber”
“Unto Caesar”


“Dance for You”
“Stillness Is the Move”
“Impregnable Question”

About the Author

- Los Angeles Writer. Lover of words.

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Dirty Projectors @ The Wiltern, 7/28/12