Live Review: Keegan DeWitt

WHERE: Café du Nord – San Francisco, CA

WHEN: August 22, 2011

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HIGHLIGHT: Poppy Tunes and Bobbing Heads Induce Underground Dance Party

On a normally-dreary night in San Francisco, Keegan DeWitt headlined at one of the city’s best venues for intimate, live music. But it wasn’t until the band took stage that it became obvious why a San Francisco crowd was the best crowd to introduce their newest album –Nothing Shows – to. For quite simple reasons, too; the album title stems from inspiration from poet Philip Larkin and his most prevalent ideas – balancing idealism versus reality, passions of youth and the terrifying feeling of having to figure it all out.

After a sultry and sweet performance by Madi Diaz (who has accompanied DeWitt on his end of summer tour and also collaborated on the new album), the band took to the stage much to the crowds swelling anticipation. The first thing noticed before distinct vocals was DeWitt’s authentically nerdy dance moves. Bopping from side to side and tapping his guitar ever-so-energetically in his laid-back attire, they kicked into “Hearts Beat Loud,” off of Nothing Shows. Each band member electrified the cozy setting by letting their guards down and throwing themselves into the moment. They wanted to be there, and the feeling amongst show-goers was mutual.

The Oregon native’s cloudy and deep voice rang through each ballad firmly, and it became obvious to see DeWitt’s transformation in talent just over the past few years. The audience was taken on a short journey through the bands abilities – from impressive solo guitar riffs, frolicsome lyrics, throttling solo-drum moments and the throwing of a guitar on the ground, they seemed to have figured out the perfect balance of keeping people interested.  “Say La La” erupted into a group dance party and heartfelt sing-a- long, and as the lights dimmed low and the band left the stage, DeWitt stayed on to share one last kernel of melodic bliss.

So while the band didn’t play a long set, the delivery was nothing far from sporadically thrilling. Call it a tease, but DeWitt just may have been planning on leaving the audience wanting more from the very start.

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