On Tuesday evening, I pedaled my ass through a massive snowstorm towards Bar Deluxe to check out the Night Beats. By the time I got to the bar (a mere four blocks east of my house), I was cold and wet and I’d watched my boyfriend almost eat shit on his bike. Before I made it home that night, I was colder and had slid out on my bike and managed to smash both my knees and my chin against some ice. Thank god I didn’t break the record that I’d purchased—if that had happened, my tears probably would have lasted much longer. Fear that you’ve just lost your teeth to an icy sidewalk is scary, but destroying an awesome record, now, that would be devastating.Biking in a snowstorm wasn’t the greatest, but watching the Night Beats slay it to a sparsely populated crowd made everything okay.
I first saw this Seattle-based three-piece almost a year ago at The Garage, where they played to a densely packed crowd. They were coming off a tour with TRMRS, and during the last few songs of their set, their tour-mates joined them on stage to play along to the songs that they had undoubtedly heard Night Beats play while on the road. I was ecstatic, and instantly wanted a record. Unfortunately, some asshole had stolen their merch earlier in the tour. I was bummed that I couldn’t take a little slice of Night Beats back home, but that initial show put the psychedelic soul group on my radar, where they’ve stayed every since.
Although the crowd was sparse at their Bar Deluxe show, the Night Beats didn’t seem to mind. Before starting their set at about 11:15 p.m. they joked that usually they only played for about four people so tonight should be good. From there, they played through a half hour set, only stopping occasionally, once so lead guitarist Danny Blackwell could ask to borrow a guitar (due to some kind of equipment malfunction) and a second time to state that one of their songs was about masturbation. Their show at Bar Deluxe might have been miniscule compared to the crowd at The Garage, but they played as if they were performing for a packed house. By the time they’d reached the middle of their set, Blackwell was visibly dripping sweat and bass player Tarek Wegner had spent a good deal of time shaking his wiry body around his area of the stage. My heart sank a little when Blackwell announced that they’d only be playing two more songs that evening.
Luckily, this time around no dick-bag had stolen their records. I purchased a copy of their 2011 self-titled release that I’ve had on repeat on my record player ever since. It was great to have such an intimate experience with the band, but I hope that their upcoming showcases in Austin during SXSW draw a larger crowd then their Salt Lake City show.