Who has two thumbs and finally has a reliable computer again?! This girl, that's who. You know what that means? It means that I am finally going to tell you all about The Dear Hunter's show in DeKalb on July 23rd! This show was an amazing experience for me. It was part of TDH's first headlining tour and I'm so beyond thrilled that I was able to be there to hear some of the most beautiful music I've ever listened to performed live.
While The Dear Hunter was obviously my reasoning for being at The House Cafe that particular night, they were not the only band that wowed me. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch The Felix Culpa or much of O'Brother but I do know that both bands are more than worth checking into. However, it was a Seattle based group by the name of Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground that completely blew my mind. These guys played some of the most amazing music I have had the pleasure of hearing in a long time. Their use of unconventional instruments, such as the tuba, violin, and something that might have been some kind of electric harmonica, made this beautiful ambient music so much more enjoyable than I could have ever expected. It definitely also helped that lead singer, Kirk Huffman, provides vocals that are not only easy on the ears, but also very controlled and unique.
After Kay Kay had left the stage, it took a minute or two for my mind to pull itself back together. However, I did not have much time to waste as The Dear Hunter was only minutes away from opening their set. When they were finally all set up, they began the set with "Never Forgive, Never Forget" from the recently released Black EP. While I expected them to open with a song from Black; however, I did not expect this one. Not that I'm complaing, that is. It was a pleasant surprise is all.
From Black, TDH went immediately to the Red EP with "We've Got A Score To Settle"; one of my favorite songs on the entire Color Spectrum. This song was performed so beautifully that it literally took my breath away. It was as though I was listening to it straight off of the album. Casey's flawless vocals never disappoint and this performance was no exception.
After performing The Orange EP's "Echo", they switched up the order a little bit and went right into another one of my personal favorites, "Mr. Malum" from the Violet EP. Hearing this song live for the first time was almost overwhelming. This track is definitely in my Top 5 favorite songs on the entire Color Spectrum, and let me tell you, that's a pretty difficult list for me to make.
After playing a couple more songs from various color EPs, the band segwayed into some music from the Acts. While I expected that they would play some music from previous albums, I did not expect to hear "She Said She Had A Story" from Act III: Life and Death. As soon as the drum beat began, I knew exactly what song it was. The track was performed just as beautifully as I could have expected and I was absolutely thrilled to hear it live.
As the set continued, I noticed that there was a lot more banter between the band and the audience then there was at the last TDH show I attended. At one point, Casey legitimately pointed out the select douchebags that were in attendance. It was great to be able to see a side of Casey that I, personally, was not used to seeing.
After about 10 or so minutes of listening to drunk people yell things at the stage and Casey completely tear down everything that anyone said, the set continued with another song from my Top 5 list, "Filth and Squalor". From the Black EP, this track is amazing in every way possible. The lyrics are, in my opinion, some of the best TDH has to offer and the music itself is indescribable.
It was then that the set came to an end. The band closed with "Red Hands", a track off of their first full length album, Act II: The Meaning of and All Things Regarding Ms. Leading. At first, I was surprised that they chose this song to close with. However, I quickly realized that this is the perfect way to end a TDH set. Not only did everyone in the audience know every word to this song, but toward the end of the performance, every person in that room was screaming "Oh my God what have I done? Now, my Darling, put your clothes back on". And as rapey as that last sentece sounded, I can assure you, it was a beautiful thing to witness.
It was at this point when all of the band members, with the exception of Casey, left the stage. It wasn't long before someone yelled out the lyrics to "Oracles on the Delphi Express". Although it was not what he had originally intended to play, Casey ended up performing this song. Oracles was the first TDH song I had ever heard, so it holds a special place in my heart. After the most amazing set I could have possibly asked for, Casey finally closed it out with "Black Sandy Beaches". Even though this was not the song I was hoping to hear, (one of these days I WILL hear "What It Means To Be Alone"), it was still a perfect way to end a beautiful performance.