Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is a Detroit indie pop band, who played Tucson’s famed Club Congress Feb. 25, 2014. They are an indie-pop band that formed in 2009 by members, Josh Epstein and Dan Zott. The band also includes drummer Mike Higgins and keyboardist Jon Visger.
The name of the band is the first thing to capture your attention. The band has no relationship with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. According to the band’s biography, “the name is a title that was immediately jarring but paid homage to their philosophy of mixing together different ideas.” The name allowed the band to go in any music direction.
They are on a headlining North American tour promoting their critically acclaimed sophomore album, “The Speed of Things.” They released a new video for the single, ”Run”, which gained over 150,000 plays the first week on You Tube. Paste magazine has labeled the band one of “The 25 Best Live Acts of 2013.”
Examiner.com managed to catch the band at sound check prior to the show. The stage is much smaller than the band normally plays. They could not use a lot of their equipment. As a result, the stage was very crowded with the instruments and microphones they needed. The venue’s sound equipment had a lot of popping that could not be resolved. This equipment is due to be upgraded in two weeks. For now, the band was determined to make the best of the situation. See the slide show for photos of sound check.
The show lived up to the label “one of the best live acts in 2013!” The packed house started and remained enthusiastic. They informed the crowd early on that this was their first visit to Tucson and they were happy to be here. Josh and Dan are both incredibly skilled at multi-tasking. Josh was playing keyboards, snare, guitar, and saxophone at times. Dan also played keyboards, percussion, and guitar. More instruments were probably hidden.
Midway through the show, Josh and Dan really let loose and hair started to fly. Dan somehow managed to dance all over the stage in spite of the clutter. The audience followed suit. Highlights were “Almost Lost Detroit”, “If You Didn’t See Me” and “Run”. For complete set list click here.
Their brand of pop music is innovative and upbeat. Even their cover songs have a brand new flavor that is refreshing. They work hard during their live show to give the audience what they want. Its pure escapism with a driving beat!