by Josh Bis
on Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 12:45 PM
As the last set of the Capitol Hill Block Party, Dirty Projectors drew a crush of humanity into Neumos—wristbanded revelers looking for one last fix met civilians who snagged free tickets through social media channels and covered about every square inch of the showroom and industrial fan buzzing mezzanine. The hour-long wait after Pure Bathing Culture's brief stint (all the better to better experience branding synergies and properly hashtagged self-snaps with presenting sponsor, Red Bull) threatened to defeat me, but I'm glad that I persevered.
Even having seen them several times, Dirty Projectors remain among the more satisfying brainy bands in the business. Expertly-assembled tensegrity song structures feel like a series of knotty equations being solved on stage in a surprisingly danceable delight of a perfect Tetris match. Seeing the multi-part vocals, that I once assumed to have only been possible through meticulous recording techniques, relayed among several humans with flash precision is still kind of an astonishing revelation; Amber Coffman's vocal virtuosity on "Stillness Is the Move" reinvents the pop song; Longstreth's "The Gun Has No Trigger" takes on creepy short story perfection, and the part where the dance break on "Useful Chamber" gives way to a the swelling sea with shouts of "Bitte Orca" is a terrific emotional release that made sticking it out through some physical discomfort and weekend exhaustion entirely worthwhile.
Sam, the cellist from Hey Marseilles, was having an epic night.