When I last saw Dave Hause, he was kicking off his North American "Devour America" tour from Asbury Lanes back in January, when Tri-State area neighborhoods were buried in snow. Now entering the Spring season, Hause, along with opener Northcote, finally made it back home to the Northeast this past weekend to promote his latest record "Devour." Hitting up Brooklyn's Knitting Factory on Friday, then New Brunswick's Court Tavern for a Saturday matinee, Hause wrapped up the incredibly ambitious tour with a sold out show in his beloved hometown of Philadelphia at the gorgeous World Live Café.
Sunday was no doubt the highlight of the weekend for Hause. Playing on a proper stage of a lovely venue filled with fans, friends, and family had to have been the best homecoming show he could ask for. After ten and a half weeks of a grueling tour that saw very few days off, driving through blizzard conditions, a post-show tragedy at SXSW, spending more hours in a van than anyone should have to, and playing dives that spell your name wrong on the marquee, being welcomed by familiar faces (and your favorite hoagie) was probably much needed relief.
Hause played his last four shows, which also included a Thursday date in Washington D.C., backed by a full band. Hause's show is fantastic when it's just himself. But with Guitarist Pete Steinkopf (Bouncing Souls), drummer Brendan Hill (former Hause bandmate from The Curse), bassist Michael "Spider" Kotterman (former Hause bandmate from The Loved Ones and ex-member of Kid Dynamite) and brother Tim on keyboards/guitar/backing vocals, the backup help added a whole new dimension to the experience.
With punk lyrics set to pretty rock music, Dave Hause's music defies genre labels. Songs like "Damascus", "Benediction", "The Shine" and "Melanin" are great on just the guitar, as most of his shows were performed on this tour. But Hause takes them to an epic level with the band behind him. Not only that, having the guys be able to take over the musical side allowed Hause freedom to roam the stage with just his mic, even singing from the shoulders of his audience. Opener Northcote (Matt Goud) would also join in on backing vocals, smiling as he got the crowd to sing along with him. And as if the evening wasn't already joyous enough, a surprise appearance was made by guitarist/singer Eric Bazilian, frontman for Philly-natives The Hooters, who came out and played their memorable 80's hit "And We Danced" with Hause and Co.