Concerts, Videos

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. | Road Show

0 Comments 08 | June | 2011

Photos | Mike Swor

NASCAR fans are keenly aware that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is currently slumping harder than the Chicago Cubs.  And despite their intimate knowledge of this racing demigod, it is unlikely that any of the southern-fried circuit students knows that he is a father.  Shock ‘n Awe.

Ok, fine.  I’m lying….kind of.

The 36-year old Earnhardt is not a father (that we know of), but there does exist a band that is drafting their way up the indie pop charts with the help of some serious name recognition.  It’s worth noting (as seen in the video above) they have actually received an approving letter from Dale Jr., who even went so far as to say he was flattered.  Yer not too bad yerself, Dale.

Officially a duo, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (affectionately known as DE3 by me, as of right this second) hail from Detroit and create buzzworthy songs that activate limbs like a puppeteer.  With infectious energy and more hooks than a meat locker, Detroiticians Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott descended upon the Casbah just five days short of releasing their first LP, It’s a Corporate World (June 7, 2011; Warner Bros.).

With the crowd amassed, the 11:30 pm set time saw Josh and Daniel arrive on stage accompanied by a drummer, who for lack of better research can only be described as a slightly thinner Andy Samburg.  Standing to acknowledge the crowd, all three briefly sported signature NASCAR racing uniforms before stripping them off to reveal dapper business suits, a no punches pulled promotion of the approaching album drop.  A ceremonial handshake brought on the green flag and soon after it was anything but business as usual.

Gifted showmen, both Josh and Daniel worked the crowd up and down, even letting a few join the act.  During “Skeletons” the select audience members were invited on stage to don masks and sing along with the chorus.  This may have proved more of a distraction, but I applauded their effort.

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As they neared the end of their set (limited by the fact they only have a handful of songs to their name), they tackled the subject of “encores” with aplomb, calling it a “silly tradition.”  Buttressed by the crowd’s approval they skipped the customary 90-second vanishing act and continued on to the crowning moment of the evening.

Having all but exhausted their catalog I was pretty sure I knew what was coming when we were promised two more songs.  All the more reason to be blown away1 when they launched into Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love!”

What the?  Who the?  Why??  Wait…what?!

Holy god!!  YEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!

Capping off the Winwood classic with a woodwind solo (saxophone), Epstein rallied the already frenzied crowd, encouraging an even louder sing-a-long.  Bristling with confidence they delivered the knockout blow, the sublimely elegant “Nothing But Our Love,” complete with another on-stage jamboree of fans exhibiting panda masks straight from the World Famous San Diego Zoo.

Panda-monium.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm1p3jl-7b4[/youtube]

Despite having spent all their fuel (something Dale Jr. knows about), the crowd was invigorated and immensely grateful for such a great display of talent and showmanship.

Dale Sr. would have been proud.

Band Website | MySpace | iTunes | Amazon

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Footnotes:  (quite literally)

  1. I have yet to locate my socks.

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Check out these other pics from the concert, provided by LDD’s favorite camera man, Mr. Swor.

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Gentlemen, start your engines

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Is that Judah Friedlander (aka, Frank Rossitano from 30 Rock)?!

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Andy Samburg's cousin, Andy SLAMburg

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The phone looks on in jealousy. "What does that mic have that I don't have?!"

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"I love you, Liz Lemon!!"

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TALKING POINTS
What’s the best band name in the business?
What’s the best cover song you’ve ever heard live?

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