Upon walking into Deap Vally’s “Royal Jelly” video release party, it was immediately evident that Basic Flowers wasn’t a typical venue but more a quirky art gallery. Two rooms with walls covered in book pages and cloth were surrounded by ephemera, books, and obsolete electronics that lead to a larger room with the microphones and instruments expected at a rock show. After a bit of mingling in the antechambers, the majority of the crowd wisely followed their ears to the driving beat and ethereal voice and guitars of opening act, Liphemra.
When Deap Vally took the floor, guitarist Lindsey Troy lit into the first few chords of “Gonna Make My Own Money” only to realize her guitar was missing an E string. Technical difficulties be damned, Lindsey and crew feverishly worked on rectifying the guitar and subsequent microphone issue while Deap Vally drummer, Julie Edwards, entertained the crowd with some lighthearted banter. It should be noted here that Julie is eight months pregnant and had a fetus design on her clothes that glowed purple in the black light.
It was mere moments before the band relaunched into an explosion of pure sonic triumph. Gone was the panic of electronic complications. They electrified the intimate crowd with songs from Sistrionix, as well as many new songs like “Fever Dream” and “Grunge Bond.” The live oil projection recalled a 1970’s garage band and was really a nice touch. It only takes a casual listen to know that Deap Vally is a band that straddles genres, but to see them live is to witness firsthand how they shift between and meld musical categories like blues and punk.
Deap Vally brought up several friends to help them out their songs throughout the evening. Musical guests included people from White Lung and Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ guitarist Nick Zinner. But truly, Deap Vally shined brightest when they were on their own. They closed the show with the song that they were celebrating, “Royal Jelly.” If there was anyone not dancing or at least swaying to the last song, I didn’t see them. Deap Vally left everyone wanting more, but as Julie Edwards conceded, it may be a little while until the next show.
Words: Jon Bostick
Photography: Wes Marsala