Live Music Review //
Dig Nitty / Dave Scanlon / Strega DADA
April 14th, 2023
@ Never Ending Books, New Haven CT

Additional photos can be found in a Facebook album here :::

One of the weirder things about Connecticut is that we can go through these two days that feel like summer and then go right back to feeling like we haven't even hit spring time warmth yet.   On this particular Friday, when Dave Scanlon was celebrating his album release, the weather was quite hot, as Friday and Saturday reached over ninety degrees (and in the coming days, we'd drop back down near the 60's and 50's) so it felt like we were already enjoying the summer.   Quentin was also at the end of his spring break, which without school just added to that summer feel.

To be filed under the "it's a small world" cliché, going into this show felt special to me because longer than I'd maybe like to admit I did a review for Dave Scanlon's first cassette- Girls and Gods- and so this did feel like it was full circle in some ways, from the first cassette to being here for the release of the newest one.  Also, if I've reviewed your cassette before and you're out there, watch out, I might just find you!

Not to fast forward and play spoilers, but Quentin broke down this show in the best way afterwards by saying that the sets went from four musicians with a singer, to one guitar singing and then two guitars singing.   Being able to experience these shows where it just feels different with each set but this one still felt like it had that underlying theme of rock is what I love about music and I seemingly say it every time I go to a show because I always manage to find these bills where all the bands don't sound the same.

What I learned at this show was that this was the first live performance for Strega DADA.  This was, in fact, their first ever show.   There exists this type of band (and unfortunately not enough of them) that just combines rock n roll with punk and other elements to create this altogether unique sound.  It's not quite as hardcore/screamy as something like Fear Before the March of Flames and it's not as poppy or short as someone like Gatsbys American Dream, but it's that type of music which pushes the boundaries of genres.

There might be a lot of different influences in here from what I'm hearing, but ultimately it was energetic.   When you think of someone in that rock sense or even punk I always think of the simplicity of the chords.   While Strega DADA had that rock feel like The Hives or even closer to punk rock, they still had those parts that were almost like math rock where it was complex.  To play how they played, in and of itself, takes an immense of talent.  But then to do it at the speed and accuracy which they carried themselves is something you really have to take notice of.  

Dave Scanlon was on second and the guitar filled the room with vocals and sometimes harmonica as well.   There is no real way to describe this music because in a lot of ways it has this sound like a stripped down rock band- somebody like The Get Up Kids (I don't know why but I kept thinking of them) or The Lyndsay Diaries (who I keep thinking about lately) but then it can take these certain turns that maybe those artists wouldn't take.  So as much as I feel like at times it's that sound of a band minus bass and drums, it also just isn't because there is more to it than that.

The songs ranged from topics such as crystals to sharks and in their delivery Dave Scanton would sometimes sing but other times just feel like it was almost talking, where we were part of a conversation.  That made this all feel much more personal, which is something I believe a live show should really do, and just being able to feel that connection through the music is what live music should be all about.

Headlining this show was Dig Nitty, a duo who both played guitar and took turns singing.   It was a bit less loud and during both this set and Dave Scanlon's set Quentin told me that he was taking his earplugs out because he didn't feel like he needed them.   In a very large way and perhaps more than anything else the way that the sounds of Dig Nitty came together reminded me of something we might hear on the "Juno" soundtrack.  I can't specify an artist from there, but it just seems to fit.

At times there was a drum machine accompanying the songs and they did a cover of "Love Hurts" which was just really one of the best covers of any song I've ever heard.   The whole feeling throughout this show just felt so mellow, even if the music wasn't, and this was just such a nice way to close out the show with the guitars taking over almost the entire night.   Everything felt defined by the melodies and it really made Never Ending Books feel like the place to be.  

Strega DADA can be followed on Instagram here :::

Dave Scanlon can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Dig Nitty can be found on Bandcamp here :::


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