There’s joy, and then there’s pure unadulterated joy that seems to know no bounds – whether its in front of 20 people or 2,000. Sure, a lot of bands have solid live sets that bring plenty of entertainment for those who come out to their sets, but there are only a select few that bring so much unbridled energy and exuberance, the magnetism of their live set can’t help but be shared by everyone in the room. Nick D’ & the Believers have that kind of joy – they’re unfettered by what’s going to make them “cool” or not – they simply come to the gig ready to have a fantastic time and go about it with as much verve and energy as humanly possible.
Nick D’ & the Believers have been on the road for a little while now, touring with a new bassist and drummer in their live crew, bringing the total from 3 guys on stage to 5, but don’t think the new additions would hinder the band’s live performance whatsoever – it only heightened it. Sure, Nick D’Andrea (the band’s namesake, obviously) leads the show, but don’t expect any of the rest of the crew to fall short at all when it comes to matching their leading man’s high octane performance approach.
Their mile-a-minute live set was more than a solid option on a night that was full of plenty different ones at the Cannery compound, as Nick D’ & the Believers were up against Wild Child in Mercy Lounge and rapper Tory Lanez in Cannery Ballroom; but when it came to actual intensity of live set, it was no contest – Nick D’ & the Believers came out on top. The band ran through a slew of songs, both new and old, but the Cliff’s Notes highlight of Nick D’ & the Believers’ unbelievable live production was once the band began playing “Room Starts Shaking,” of their most recent EP, Crown.
The band’s enthusiasm was top notch, and Nick D’s fronting abilities are reminiscent of an early Mick Jagger with a little more post-punk proclivities; it’s a certain front man flair that certainly can’t be taught. Following “Room Starts Shaking,” Nick D’ prefaced their next song with a simple misnomer of “We definitely wrote this song,” which naturally led to the band’s cover of “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen. The Boss’ influence was pretty apparent when it came to Nick D’s moves and the band’s sound in general – who knows, maybe the new-age version of The Boss is from Columbus, Ohio?
Nick D’ & the Believers absolutely crushed their version of “Dancing in the Dark,” but don’t assume their set closed with a murmur, oh no, they shut. It. Down. Their final track was “Find a Little Love,” the first song the band ever recorded, and man, even with the new additions on the bass and drums, it was apparent that the musical direction of the song itself was second nature to everyone on the High Watt stage. While Nick D’ and the Believers may have closed their tour last night at the High Watt, don’t expect them to trail off anytime soon, because with a live set as solid as theirs, it can only go up from here.