Delta Spirit was looking forward to their first headlining show in Madison. Earlier this year, the Long Beach–based band had opened for Dr. Dog at the High Noon Saloon and were coming back on the heels of a new album "History From Below" and a limited vinyl edition EP "The Waites Room."
Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit at the High Noon
Opening with the rockin’ "John Henry," Delta Spirit immediately sent the audience into a frenzy as spontaneous dancing erupted around us with shaking hips and spilled drinks. You notice right away the harder edge that Delta Spirit has in their live sound compared to studio efforts. “Bushwick Blues”, “911” and “Ransom Man” all capitalize on this raw live energy taking the songs to a new level.
Seated at the piano, lead singer Matt Vasquez tells a story about a minor traffic accident the band had maneuvering the East Washington Street construction lane changes in Madison, but everything turned out ok. He then starts a crowd sing-along to Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” before launching into “Trashcan” a live staple of the band. The enthusiasm of the crowd matches Delta Sprit’s growing popularity over last few months as evidenced by the number of people that seem to know all the song lyrics.
The additional percussion onstage beyond the standard drum kit helps accentuate songs with driving rhythms. Keyboardist Kelly Winrich played the role of percussion master pounding the standalone drum at strategic points in songs.
The encore of “People Turn Around” and “Motivation” was icing on the cake for the Delta Sprit devotees who were high-fiving everyone and bursting at the seams for more California soul-infused rock n roll. Crowd participation during “Motivation” included a verse of the classic “Shout” complete with Vasquez jumping into the crowd and directing the toga-like dance party down to the hardwood floor with arms in the air. Delta Spirit headlined their first Madison show and it won’t be their last.
Delta Spirit w/ Nathaniel Rateliff