By Hailey Nuthals, Highlighter Editor
Tuesday was a momentous night for Delta Spirit frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez, as he celebrated the release of his first solo LP “Solicitor Returns” at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right. The Brooklyn-born but recently Austin-bound singer had released an impressive EP, “Austin,” this past October, and had finally returned to New York to commemorate his new album.
Amidst a crowd of friendly Brooklynites all colorfully lit by the repurposed wine bottles on stage, the show felt like someone had taken the cult favorite book / film “Perks of Being a Wallflower” and aged all the characters ahead 10 or 15 years. That is to say, Vasquez’s crowd was primarily 20-something hipsters who looked like they knew a thing or two about beard grooming and wanderlust. The two opening acts, Cut Worms and Hideout, had warmed the crowd up nicely, and by the time Vasquez came out, everyone was pressed to the stage and ready to party.
Cheers greeted the star of the show as he came on stage, and the night only got friendlier. As he and his backing band launched into their set, the audience was pulsating, grooving back and forth and up and down, Polaroid camera flashes and Snapchat screens visible throughout. Vasquez obviously came to the right town to celebrate the release, because the crowd all seemed to know his work, and they sang along to it with loose smiles and raised hands.
The concert itself was a wonderfully teeming mix of Blink-182, garage punk, Oughts rock, and heavy metal, all squashed together into a genre that could affectionately be called “dad rock.” (Don’t be mislead, however; Vasquez isn’t even close to any radar your parents are using to make their playlists.) It was rebellious without being anarchical, and energetic without losing control. Vasquez even jumped into the crowed for a song to mix around with his fans, but mosh pits weren’t started, and instruments left the stage in the condition they came on.
The night was a feel-good, rock-out event. It was the perfect way to celebrate a new release and make new friends amongst the flannel-clad, carefully-styled hipsters that could have either just walked in from Williamsburg or Corpus Christi. Vasquez’s power chords and impressive guitar solos cut through the din of the crowd, and the sincerity of both his lyrics and singing were easily seen in the earnest, unrelenting way that he played. His band, too, was not to be overlooked – even amongst some thick-textured harmonies, the bassist stood out with his rhythm and clever foundation, and the guitarist (“we call him the Nature Man!”) was contagiously energetic. It was undeniably a perfect way to honor the album release, and with any luck, the momentum will carry through to sales.