Though, Devendra & the Grogs came out on stage with just as much energy as if it were a sold-out show and started it off with the whimsical "Long Haired Child." He kept the momentum going, with classics "Shabop Shalom," "Seahorse" and "Carmencita;" a few short diddies like "How's About Tellin a Story" and "Canela;" and a few solos that would break your heart including "It's a Sight to Behold" and "Little Yellow Spiders."
With his recent debut album on a major label, What Will Be, he rocked out to most of its tracks. The pop tunes stood out like sore thumbs - "Baby," "16th & Valencia Roxy Music," and "Goin Back." But they are all embedded with the spirit of Devendra's unique vocals and freak folk philosophy. He explained the meaning of "Maria Lionza," a tale of a strikingly-massive feminist sculpture in Venezuela. The instrumental verse in the middle is a conversation between Maria and Caribbean goddess Santeria, which could not possibly be put into words.
Devendra introduced all of the very-talented members of the Grogs and let them - against their will or not - perform at least one of their scores. The bassist, dressed in a navy blue Snuggie, yelped out an interesting tune. The guitarist turned up the blues with his jazzy number. The keyboardist and miscellaneous percussionist - who could've been Thom Yorke's younger brother - sang a pop song. The drummer rocked out to the heaviest rock song of the evening and head's bobbing and feet stomping.
Just when the crowd was starting to let loose, the show ended and without an encore but it was just enough to get you hooked. You'll have to cross international borders to catch him on the last leg of his tour. Check out dates on Myspace. (www.DevendraBanhart.com is coming soon!)
Find out how Devendra will be spending his Thanksgiving in this interview.
Check out his recent work on Beck's project "The Record Club."