“You need to be dancing harder.”
I stared into the face of the woman who’d just punched me in the arm to get my attention and tell me this. She continued, “You need to be dancing more, like this, up and down, having fun.” I ignored a passing instinct to punch her in the face, and smiled instead. “Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay!” she shrieked in closing.
A moment later, she punched me again. “Are you from Barcelona?” she inquired.
“No. I’m from Pittsburgh.” She stopped talking to me after that.
That pretty much encapsulates my experience seeing Delorean at Great American Music Hall on Wednesday night. I can say without exaggeration that I cannot remember a concert where the audience was more INTO IT, more insanely enraptured by the music — or where I felt more inadequate in comparison (even though I was briefly cheered to be mistaken for someone from Barcelona). I felt like I was back at my junior high dance, moping around and feeling sorry for myself because everyone looks like they’re having a better time than me.
It would have been different if I’d known what to expect: this was my first time seeing Delorean, and based on their albums, I expected a chill crowd of swaying San Franciscans blowing pot smoke while the band dreamily performed their blissful dance-rock. And I still think that’s what I’d have gotten if the audience was actually made up of San Franciscans, a famously calm and immobile concert audience. But no: a different group of people claimed Great American Music Hall as their own on Wednesday. And that crowd was, like the members of Delorean, from Spain.
I’ve now learned the hard way that Spanish people do not fuck around when they are partying. I genuinely worried the poor old GAMH floor was going to cave in from two hours of hundreds of people jumping up and down like one giant smartly-dressed rectangle of flesh. It was bedlam. I have never seen anything like it, or at least not at GAMH. It became quickly apparent that this was the wrong, wrong, wrong venue for Delorean. They are the stuff Mezzanine dreams are made from.
At least that’s the way it seemed from my vantage point, which was a bit closer than halfway out from the stage. When I glanced around, it did appear that some of my fellow overwhelmed San Franciscans were lurking around toward the back, wondering how they somehow ended up attending a crazytimes World Cup party.
Lemonade, formally of San Francisco but currently living in Brooklyn (just like nearly everyone I knew five years ago), got the crowd moving with their rafter-rattling electroglitch rock. It was the ideal palette cleanser; Lemonade has a much harder, louder sound, so it made it all the more euphoric when Delorean came out and kept the beat going with their own impossibly gorgeous, rousing, house-flavored indie pop.
Despite having a fairly limited output, Delorean kept the party going for over 90 minutes. And even though I spent most of the concert dancing self-consciously because I knew I was being observed by the enforcer from the Spanish Joy Patrol directly behind me, there’s no denying that a Delorean show is basically aural Ecstasy. Which I should probably take before I see them again.