Last Night: The Alex Benefit at the Detroit Bar

The Alex Benefit at the Detroit Bar, April 19, 2008 with We Barbarians, Nathan Willett, Delta Spirit, and Jonnie Russell from the Cold War Kids

PhotobucketBetter Than: Donating money to the Presidental Election Campaign Fund.

Download: Delta Spirit's "Trashcan" from Ode To Sunshine

Benefit concerts often reward audience members who are gracious enough to support the event's cause by providing outstanding live performances and the occasional surprise. These principals were definitely upheld at Detroit Bar this Saturday as patrons were treated to a show that exceeded $10 donation expectations.

The Alex Benefit was put together to help support Alex, a boy suffering from a hole in his heart, and his family from Uganda. Alex needs open heart surgery to save his live and surmounting medical bills have placed a financial burden on his family. So local bands Delta Spirit, Cold War Kids and We Barbarians came to the rescue.

The utilization of dynamics within a song is a specialty of We Barbarians who opened with "Trickle Down," a quiet introduction to the band. However, notions of a mellow set were quickly dispatched as Davey Quon (Vocals/Guitars) urgently broke into "There's This" with howling guitars and stuttering drums.

Jonnie Russell (Guitars) of Cold War Kids, had his reverb pedal cranked for the decaying notes of a new song entitled "Every Man I Fall For" with Nathan Willett (Vocals/Guitars) adding his trademark ashen vocals. The crowd screamed for "Hang Me Up To Dry" as they wrapped up their 30-minute set.

Having recently wrapped up a tour with Huntington Beach's Matt Costa, Delta Spirit were road tested and ready when they hit stage. "Bleeding Bells" warmed the crowd up with its steady back beat and a raucous pit broke out with "Tom Gerald" as the whiskey-drenched tunes of Delta Spirit started to intoxicate the crowd. I was amazed when I turned around to see the audience singing and swaying and back and forth to "People, Turn Around" near the end of the set. And the momentum of the show did not fall as Brandon Young (Drums) served as a human engine propelling the throttling "Trashcan" to new heights with his piston like drumming.


Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I was at the We Barbarians first show at the Detroit Bar back in September 2007 and truly enjoy the band.

Random Detail: The crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to Kelly Winrich of Delta Spirit.

By The Way: I made it to the Detroit Bar in record time coming from Fingerprints Records in Long Beach after watching Silversun Pickups play an acoustic set for National Record Store Day.



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