Delta Spirit waltzes into World Cafe Live

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Delta Spirit | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com
Delta Spirit | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

Delta Spirit have decided to make this tour an unforgettable one. Instead of playing complete albums or orchestral versions of songs, as a number have bands have done lately, they have taken a page from The Last Waltz, The Band’s phenomenal farewell show that featured an impressive cast of special guests. On this tour, Delta Spirit have played with the likes of Dawes, The Walkmen, The Lumineers and many others. Philly had its own impressive cast in tow last night.

Opening with a Delta Spirit-only deconstructed version of their hit “Bushwick Blues,” an early song from the History From Below album, the band set the tone that things were not to be as expected. Similarly reworked versions of “Parade,” “Idaho” and “Salt In the Wound” followed, all garnished by the band simple but effective array of bare lightbulbs arranged across the stage.

Delta Spirit | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com
Delta Spirit | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

For the initial special guests, we were introduced to Dr. Dog’s Eric Slick on drums, as well as Switchfoot’s vocalist John Foreman, who had flown in on a day off, bringing home a rousing cover of the Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down.” Delta Spirit vocalist Matt Vasquez was a sun that all of these planets revolved around. He took two tracks solo, “Language of the Dead” and a brand new track. At that point the floodgates opened, with Jessica Lea Mayfield taking the stage for a solo track, John Foreman singing lead on “Dare You To Move,” and one of the highlights – Delta Spirit’s Kelly Winrich singing vocals for the first time on his hit song, “California.”

It soared from there, this patchwork Americana supergroup lunging into Jessica Lea Mayfield’s recent hit “I Wanna Love You.” Another unexpected highlight followed – a rousing cover of the Violent Femmes’ “Add It Up.” Mike Weiss from mewithoutYou joined the fray as the band went from there into a string of Delta Spirit standards, anchored by an encore of their recent tune, “From Now On.” The crowd, with members of the Districts, The Lawsuits and Widow Maker Social Club visible, were in a frenzy by this point. The band closed with an all-hands-on-deck version of “People Turn Around,” the final brushstroke on a glorious collage of music.

Setlist
Bushwick Blues
Parade
Idaho
Salt In The Wound
Children > Blue Eyes (Middle Brother)
Don’t Let Me Down (The Beatles)
Language of the Dead
New Song (Matt solo)
Untitled (Jessica Lea Mayfield solo)
Dare You To Move (John Foreman solo)
California (Sung by Kelly Winrich)
Caroline (John Foreman on lead vocals)
I Wanna Love You (Jessica Lea Mayfield)
Add It Up (Violent Femmes)
Push It
Hold My End Up
People C’mon
Trashcan (with Eric Slick)
From Now On
People Turn Around

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