Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. @ Independent, SF 5/17/13

May 22. 2013 | By Alyssa Pereira

If their onstage floral-emblazoned suits and Converse sneakers didn’t already inform you, let it be known that Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is quite the enigmatic duo. Though the Detroit-bred pair draws from sonic influences like an eclectic pick of hometown sounds and surprise sing-alongs in European countries, they certainly also drew some energy from their San Francisco audience last Friday night at the city’s beloved Independent.

Exray's @ Independent, SF 05/17/2013
Exrays

Though the band had been romping around the U.S. playing sold-out shows and spinning late-night DJ sets, Dale was nonetheless at the pinnacle of their game.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. @ Independent, SF 05/17/2013
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

In front of a meticulously-crafted stage set (featuring two sets of boxy, light bulb-filled wooden “J” and “R” letter displays and large orbs of Japanese lanterns scattered across the stage), the band sent the sold-out San Francisco audience straight into pop reverie—bubbles and all.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. @ Independent, SF 05/17/2013
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

It’s obvious that Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott, the group’s key members, went on this tour bent on creating a fuller sound. Enlisting the likes of the great and ever-rapt Mike Higgins on drums and the ingenious Jon Visger (of absofacto) on the keyboard, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. certainly accomplished that.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. @ Independent, SF 05/17/2013
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

“Simple Girl,” as well as other key tracks like “Skeletons” and “Nothing But Our Love” sounded anything but elementary. The extra members added a depth undeliverable by only two members—a gauzy, but never flimsy sound.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. @ Independent, SF 05/17/2013
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

But Zott’s and Epstein’s mastery is not demonstrated only by the addition of the supporting band members.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. @ Independent, SF 05/17/2013
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Moving toward their next album debut, The Speed of Things due out next year, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. found a method for delivering their most-loved tracks from both debut album It’s A Corporate World and EP Patterns while hinting at the direction of things to come. The result was a redolent, earnest foray into ebullient, uplifting pop.

Check out all the amazing photos from the show HERE.

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