Divine Fits came out on stage at the Crocodile around 11:15 Thursday night while the place was packed. The show had to have been sold out, although I didn’t see any signs confirming or denying it was.
It was, according to singer/guitarist/bassist Britt Daniel (also of Spoon fame), the band’s tenth show, but they all seemed familiar with Daniel and Dan Boeckner (of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs fame) have been indie rock veterans for at least the past decade.
The band came out as a five-piece, with Deep Sea Diver and The Shins’ Jessica Dobson playing guitar and singing on “Flaggin a Ride.” It wasn’t a complete surprise – she lives in Seattle and played and sang on A Thing Called Divine Fits (and I interviewed her earlier Thursday afternoon and she said she’d join the band on stage), but I didn’t expect it so soon in the evening. Britt Daniel called her (twice during the show: she came back later to play guitar on the Tom Petty cover “You Got Lucky”), “The newest member of Divine Fits.”
What I enjoy about Daniel’s more famous band is the bass lines, which sound more like a the bass lines of a funk band than a post-2000 indie rock band. While Daniel isn’t the bassist for Spoon (Rob Pope is), it’s one of the best aspects he brought to this group.
Daniel and Boeckner mostly alternated lead vocals, while the other (and keyboardist Alex Fischel) provided the backing harmonies. The band’s sound was varied, with “The Salton Sea” sounding like a 1980s new wave single – which is meant as a compliment. Others were more straightforward indie rock.
Daniel pointed out, more than once, that this was only the band’s tenth show. I think the reason for repeating that was to hedge against any mistakes (there was one false start late in the set), but for the most part, they were loose but on point and everyone in the full Crocodile seemed to be enjoying themselves. This band is a keeper.
They ended just past midnight with “Shivers,” an early Nick Cave song that appeared on A Thing Called Divine Fits. Daniel said it is, “the last song we know,” which meant “no encore.” The band, I suppose, could have played a Spoon or Wolf Parade favorite to please the crowd (even more), but that would have been lame.
1. Flaggin a Ride (with Jessica Dobson)
2. Baby Get Worse
3. The Salton Sea
4. What Gets You Alone
5. Would That Not Be Nice
6. Civilian Stripes
7. My Love is Real
8. Doom Town (Wipers cover)
10. Like Ice Cream
11. You Got Lucky (Tom Petty cover; with Jessica Dobson)
12. For Your Heart
13. Shivers (Boys Next Door cover)
Chris Burlingame is the editor of Another Rainy Saturday.