in performance: de novo dahl

Right about the time this afternoon’s July 4th parade took a literally freakish turn down Main Street with the costumed pageantry of a haunted house exhibit that included a few audience friendly zombies and a monster rabbit, Nashville’s De Novo Dahl blasted off with a pop party of its own merry design at Phoenix Park.

The band had costumed appeal, too. The five members were decked out (as in the above photo) like hip jailbirds in matching outfits of yellow and red stripes. But the colors that beamed from its ultra-fun 45 minute set were considerably more varied.

The show opening Dance Like David and Sky is Falling set the mood with glowing keyboard figures, plump percussive beats (especially on the latter tune) and a stylistic view that, from the cheery harmonies of Joel J. Dahl and Serai Zaffiro to the music’s abundant melodic hooks, borrowed liberally from past pop decades.

The Funk, on the other hand, was a miniature ‘70s dance party that opened with a disco-savvy bounce that sent keyboardist Matt Hungate briefly out into the greens to indulge in some moves before the band wound its way through melodies that better approximated vintage Brit-pop.

Covers of the 1981 synth-savvy Rod Stewart hit Young Turks and the Speed Racer theme (where the “go, go, go” chorus packed a Ramones-ish punch) completed the holiday mood as the sun made a cameo appearance on an otherwise overcast 4th.

A side note: one had to wonder why the demolition this week of the Triple Crown Lounge, the newest casualty of the proposed CentrePointe project, couldn’t have been completed or simply delayed until after a holiday event that brought thousands of patrons downtown.

So, as the parade looped around Vine to Main and De Novo Dahl rocked away across the street in Phoenix Park, audiences were provided with the inescapable backdrop of a blown apart street corner that looked like it had been hit by mortar shells. Who came up with that bright idea?

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