Saturday night Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr and Chad Valley got the trampoline-like floor of The Fillmore bouncing to a blend of electronic beats, pulsing percussion and smooth vocal melodies.
Opener Chad Valley, got the eventing started with its brand of synth pop accompanied by haunting lyrics. Many in the U.S. assume that Chad Valley is the singer’s name, but it’s actually a long running brand of toys in the UK, which artist Hugo Manuel has adopted for his act. Manuel closed his set with “Shell Suite” a song that showcases his vocal range and compositional creativity and was perfect segue into the rest of the night.
Josh Epstein, half of the quirky duo Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, was nice enough to talk with us last week in advance of the show, sharing insights into the band and showing some love for his hometown of Detroit. Saturday night he focused on some San Francisco memories – telling a story about a packed show a few years back in the early days of the band at Milk Bar and rocking a Warriors practice jersey that his mom bought him as a teen.
Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr hit all the right notes and provided some incredible moments, such as when Epstein jumped down into the crowd, Daniel Zott (the band’s other half) bounced around with his hair in a side ponytail, and when bubbles were released from the ceiling, creating a spectacle as dozens of people jumped in the air to pop them. Epstien and Zott create music that hits on many genres but isn’t constrained into any one particular style. The vocal harmonies are often compared The Beach Boys, and the melodies are layered with synthesizers, samples, guitar, bass and even saxophone. The result is something that is great for dancing, hanging with friends, or for sitting at work while you daydream of dancing or hanging with friends.
One of my favorite tracks by Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr is “Don’t Tell Me:”
Also check out “Beach Boys Biggie” from newly released mixtape Produce Vol. 1: