TVD Live: Divine Fits at Bunbury Festival, 7/13

PHOTOS: CARY WHITT | Divine Fits—Britt Daniel of Spoon, Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs, Sam Brown of New Bomb Turks, and multi-instrumentalist/touring member Alex Fischel—provided a near perfect hour-long set Saturday night on the Bunbury Rockstar stage. As the sun went down over Cincinnati, the band cruised through some new material, as well as its taut, infectious songs from last year’s brilliant debut, A Thing Called Divine Fits.

Since the band started up in 2012, this was my fourth time seeing them (the benefits of having one of the members share your hometown, I suppose), and thankfully little has changed. Using the same, road-tested formula of trading off vocal duties and sometimes instruments, the guys have grown even tighter as a band. Their spiky, new-wave tinged rock has all the elements you can’t help but like, with hardly any filler in-between. The songs are streamlined and to the point, aggressive without being silly, and provocative without trying. Even the set opener, the very atmospheric (and very Spoon-like) song called “Neopolitans,” served as an amuse-bouche to what was to come next.

The Boeckner-fronted “Baby Get Worse” grabbed ahold of the now-larger crowd and did not let go for the next 12 songs the band performed. Daniel soon followed with my favorite off the record, “Would That Not Be Nice,” a track as catchy as songs come, and one that complimented love-scorned numbers like “Civilian Stripes” and “My Love is Real.”

Live mainstain cover “Lucky” was played to perfection. I swear, they do it so well, you’d think it was just an old Divine Fits song that Tom Petty made famous years ago. Frank Ocean’s “Lost,” my favorite live cover of recent memory by any band, went down even better. Unlike “Lucky,” Ocean’s “Lost” has become The Fits’ own, in a way—the live instrumentation and perky keyboard delivery makes the song even better on some level, a feat rarely accomplished.

The Fits added two new tunes into the set, a Daniel-fronted knockout called “Ain’t That The Way,” which soars throughout but hits the stratosphere in the final third with a powerful three-part Daniel-Boeckner-Fischel harmony asking, “Ain’t that the way you like it? / I could feel it comin’,” as well as the Boeckner-led “Chained To Love,” another notch in Boeckner’s love-scorned belt.



Talking to the guys before their set revealed a few things. Although the Fits are a well-oiled machine at this point, it looks like a break might be coming soon… but only for this band. Daniel informed me that the recording sessions for the next Spoon record were happening in LA this week. Being the Spoon fan that I am, this is terrific news, but let’s hope Daniel and company keeps all their fires burning for while. For all the hub-bub about this being a supergroup, or some group of guys’ side project, I say it’s neither; it’s a damn good band that needs to keep making tunes.









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