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DeVotchka moves Williamsburg

By Ohad Amram

Staff Writer

The band wasted no time as the lights dimmed, delving directly into their hour and a half long set during which they played hits from all nine of their albums. DeVotchKa played singles from their most recent full-length effort, “100 Lovers,” which was released in March of this year. The band gained critical acclaim upon scoring much of the soundtrack for Academy Award nominated-film “Little Miss Sunshine” in 2006.

Nick Urata, DeVotchKa’s front man leads the band in more ways than one. The talented singer/songwriter often transitions from song to song by way of picking up another guitar from his large collection or elegantly finger plucking the classical guitar that he used during the vast majority of the set. Belting out at the top of his lungs yet missing not a single note, he held the audience captive with his enticing lyrics. Many were in a trance,an alternate state completely.

Accompanied by a beautiful symphonic orchestra that executed each song with precision, all four permanent members of the band did not disappoint. Jeanie Schroder, the band’s only female member, frequented an array of intricate instruments that are often a rarity among most contemporary music. These instruments consisted of the very interesting sousaphone, which provided a lower pitch and complimented the string section particularly well, as did her other instrument, the upright bass. When Schroder wasn’t playing either instrument, she used her angelic voice as the Yin to Urata’s Yang.

The other half of the band is composed of members Shawn King who endured the entire performance on drums and other forms of percussion, and Tom Hagerman, who alternated between his talents on the piano and accordion. The set ran a respectable length considering the band had played two shows on the nights prior, September 14 and 15, at the Bowery Ballroom, and were finishing their third leg of the New York City dates at the Williamsburg Music Hall.

DeVotchKa’s set list for the evening consisted of popular singles such as “The Clockwise Witness” and “Till the End of Time,” and after an hour and a half of anticipation, the band left the stage and returned to an encore closing the show with perhaps their most popular single (with the most fitting name) “How It Ends.” And what an ending it was.

Four more years of Bill!

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