The Felice Brothers / Nicole Atkins and the Black Sea / Diamond Doves, Webster Hall, 9/29/11

It’s been almost approximately a year since I last saw the Diamond Doves (formerly the Dearland in Elvis Perkins and Dearland, now doing their own thing) and in that time they’ve changed: they’ve become tighter and more focused, and their drums are bigger and louder and roll like mighty waves.  They were good before, but they’re better now. I’m also pleased to report that they are still making the hipsters dance. Here they are in action:






Next up was Nicole Atkins and the Black Sea. I (once again) had never heard them before and had no idea what to expect. Ladies and gentlemen: this band rocks. Nicole Atkins has an amazing voice – powerful, flexible, commanding, and sultry at the same time – and she and the band bring some serious jams. If you haven’t experienced them yet, you should get on that right away.







And then there were The Felice Brothers, who are on tour right now. The crowd was a little bit flat at first – some of them perhaps hearing songs from Celebration, Florida live for the first time – but they perked right up and made the floor vibrate with their joy when the band launched into familiar favorites like Run, Chicken, Run, White Limosine and, of course, Frankie’s Gun.

The one I was waiting for, though, was River Jordan. It’s one of my favorites, mainly for the steady, thudding, mournful drums; the line about Fuck the House of Blues; and also the point near the end where either the band cuts Ian Felice loose or he breaks free, but either way he’s soaring.

This time it came at the end of the main set, and it was spellbinding, all the way down to the last two minutes or so when various band members stopped playing and walked back into the wings, until it was just the drums ringing out under the lights.

They came back, of course, and the mood changed. They did a cover of Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town that made that song expand and thrum with new energy, followed by a raucous rendition of Helen Fry, and then the show really was over. These are some of the pictures I took during the festivities:







And here is one more of the Diamond Doves (& friend), in their capacity as the Felices’ horn section:



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