Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. packed the house at The Echo on Friday night, as Claire Gallagher's preview predicted (for the full BestNewBands.com article please click here). The band consists of Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott, joined by a drummer as well as live loops and samples. The trio came onstage in NASCAR jackets and hats, immediately removing them to reveal sharply cut suits. They began the set with the first track on their upcoming album It's a Corporate World called "Morning Thought, which is available for free download on their website here. It's a a great slow-burning summer jam, but they have a lot of good ones to choose from with the same elements of electro, folk, and pop. I was humming the chorus to "Simple Girl" as late as Sunday afternoon, still admiring the way that the lyrics played the necessary anchor to the buoyance of the music. They seem just as comfortable moving between heart-breaking innocence and wisdom, their voices effortlessly blending the two in sublime harmony. At one point, a guy in crowd leaned over to me and said simply "It's nice to see a band where they can actually sing". They even finished an original track with an epic chorus of "I Will Always Love You", and several crowd members heartily joined in. The duo apologized for the choice immediately after, explaining that they had heard the song on the radio earlier that day and just had to sing it. Daniel Zott (pictured above right) announced their upcoming album release mid-set, delcaring "It's called "It's a Corporate World" and goddamn it, it is...but I'm a human being!" The crowd cheered, and they trio immediately rewarded them with their signature stripped-down version of "God Only Knows". For their song "Skeletons"they even invited 10-15 people onstage, giving out skeleton masks to as many as they could with a few adorable panda faces in the mix.
If you missed Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. Friday at The Echo, catch them next in Portland TONIGHT, June 6th, at Mississippi Studios and Tractor Tavern in Seattle tomorrow, the 7th. That's the same day their album It's a Corporate World drops, so don't forget to check it out on iTunes. For more information about their upcoming tour dates, please visit their Facebook and Twitter pages.