Screams of adulation and pent up teen angst greet a bewildered DIIV as they stroll onto stage without a care in the world. The venue is Brighton’s Concorde 2, a bastion of live music in the South East and the perfect environment for one of New York’s greatest guitar exports in recent times to have their egos massaged. I had envisaged a chilled night of head bobbing and rhythmic foot tapping interspersed with the occasional wolf whistle. What transpired was very different.
Three minutes in I found myself throwing my entire weight behind a clump of skinny jeaned youths, contorted with a combination euphoria and rage. As the the ethereal chorus of “Follow” from sterling debut ‘Oshin” wailed into existence I found myself transfixed by the effortless grace frontman Cole Smith commanded the assembled masses, instructing them to do his bidding like some Grecian god whilst also appearing intimate enough that every member of the crowd felt personally addressed.
Hit’s from their second album “Under The Sun”; “Out of Mind” and “Dopamine” were embraced with the same adulation as old favourites “Doused” and “How Long Have You Own” reinforcing DIIV’s almost universal appeal to a particular clump of long haired, bespeckled youngers. Although one could dismiss the musicality as one singular strain of reverb washed pseudo grunge it is the passion and skill that sets DIIV apart from their contemporaries. Each song is beautifully arranged in a live format with subtle complexities permeating both the lyricisms and the tonality of each piece.
Bloody love this band.
Photography by Jamie Macmillan
Words by Aaron Powell