PREVIEW/BUY THE CD HERE
Anytime a show or live album listing features some kind of “with symphonic accompaniment” note, people might be forgiven for still reflexively rolling their eyes. If nothing else, though, DeVotchKa have always aimed for the theatrical and orchestral flourish in their music almost by default, so a performance with their hometown symphony seems perfectly apt rather than a matter of overreach. Nick Urata’s swooping voice settles among the mix of rhythmic rumble and descending chords with ease from the get-go on the opening “The Alley,” and from there everything hits one high after another. Hearing the transformation of a quick, sprightly number like “The Clockwise Witness” into an equally rollicking but by default lusher performance is one of many joys, while “All the Sand in the Sea” takes the swift piano-led melodrama to even fuller heights and “Contrabanda” practically explodes into its dramatic conclusion. The all-instrumental “Firetrucks on the Boardwalk” perhaps benefits the most in terms of sheer transformation, with the addition of a children’s choir at the end adding a cappella vocals turning everything into one heck of a end credits sequence (even if it’s only halfway through the release). Available exclusively through indie record stores like this one!