The show at Neumos on Friday night was nothing short of a Christmas special, from Peter Mansen in an adorable onesie to Bryan John Appleby’s delightful holiday get-up, complete with Muppets and a choir. A perfectly sweet open to Deep Sea Diver’s folk-driven rock, Appleby’s heartfelt set comprised of tender tracks from Fire on the Vine and carmelized Christmas numbers. Folk revivalism done tastefully, these narrative tunes are intricately instrumental and refreshingly honest.
Nearly two years out from the release of History Speaks, Deep Sea Diver’s sparse set refuses to wilt on record or stage. It doesn’t take more than one song to sink deliciously under the tasty spell of Jessica Dobson’s haunting synth-matched vocal hooks riding on Mansen’s galvanizing drums. Dobson’s possessed stature and impressive technical precision luxuriate in a likeness of Annie Clark (St. Vincent), and it’s not difficult to imagine the songstress reaching similar heights. A former member of The Shins (whose influence resounds in the nautical licks of ‘You Go Running’), Dobson on stage is simply captivating. Opening with temporal plays on flickering bare bulbs and exploding bursts of flood light, the band showed us promising new gems and several endearing Christmas covers. Dobson’s confessional 'O Holy Night' was backed by a stage decked with spectacular strings of lights that formed a massive tree, which the band had personally slaved over. The sonic celebrations left me with enough elation stuck on my heart to float away from the Pike/Pine antics filled with warm holiday fuzzies.
Photos//Words By Cassandra Croft