Some bands and venues fit together like hand and glove…one of the those is Death From
Above 1979 and The Horseshoe Tavern. The band booked four sold out nights at the legendary
club and it’s far from the first time they’ve ever played there either. In fact, DFA has played The
‘Shoe seven times previously including a very memorable three night run back in 2005 when
the buzz around them was reaching a fever pitch. The buzz in 2023 may have dialled down a
few notches, but it didn’t take away any of the excitement from getting a chance to experience
their unique brand of rock in such an intimate setting.

DFA’s last release was 2022’s Is 4 Lovers, so the bulk of the set was songs stemming from that
record. Early on we heard the singles ‘Modern Guy’ and ‘One + One’ which sounded suitably
DFA and was pleasant enough. Things turned up a decidedly another level however when they
unleashed ‘Turn it Out’, the pit kicking into action and the temperature rising.

My personal bias will infiltrate this review because I’m not really digging this latest record from
the band, so ‘Free Animal’, ‘Totally Wiped Out’ and ‘NYC Power Elite’ just didn’t hit for me, but
who am I anyway? The last quarter of the show was classic DFA starting with a one/two punch
of You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine’s ‘Going Steady’ and ‘Black History Month’…Jesse Keeler’s
bass playing and just general stage presence being totally captivating and how Sebastien
Grainger manages to hold down lead vocals while flailing frantically on his drum kit has always
amazed me.

The night finished on an absolute high note with Keeler and Grainger pulling no punches. First
up was ‘Trainwreck 1979’…the 2014 single that announced their return to action after an eight
year hiatus. With the tempo and enthusiasm already riding high, Keeler scraped his pick along
his bass strings in that particular way that introduced their indie rock classic ‘Romantic
Rights’…the floor bouncing, the roof lifting, the people sweating! Perfection! The last song of
the evening (‘Dead Womb’) was taken from the duo’s first EP and it was the perfect way to
wrap an evening that showcased both the band’s past and it’s future.

-Johnny Hooper