DeVotchKa at Park West | Concert preview
The Denver quartet adds strings at a Valentine’s Day concert.
It’s fairly safe to assume that Denver quartet DeVotchKa voted alongside its state’s majority in the last election. The group ruffled feathers in October when, as part of a Day of the Dead–themed stage show, a band member dressed in an Aztec ceremonial costume beheaded another band member wearing a Mitt Romney mask. His heart was ripped out, too. Like the scantily clad ladies at the burlesque club where the band got its start, the stunt left little to the imagination, which seems unusual for an act that’s known for its sweeping, larger-than-life sound, woven from Gypsy-folk, cabaret, classical and indie-rock influences.
The foursome gained attention with the 2006 film Little Miss Sunshine, which made a hit out of “How It Ends,” a solemn ballad driven by the highly emotional vocals of frontman Nick Urata. The band’s knack for tugging at heartstrings has captivated listeners throughout its 16-year career, during which it’s produced six studio albums, an EP, two movie soundtracks and most recently Live with the Colorado Symphony, recorded at the breathtaking Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Urata says the band has always had “orchestral leanings” and naturally seized the opportunity to perform with a symphony, which is also the format for this Valentine’s show featuring a chamber sextet. Given the powerful, visceral nature of the live recording, there’s no doubt a few tears will be shed. Let’s just hope no one loses their head.