Picture Show: DeVotchKa and Crooked Fingers at the House of Blues

Picture Show: DeVotchKa and Crooked Fingers at the House of Blues
Patrick Michels

While tornado warning sirens serenaded most of Dallas last night, those of us cooped up in the House of Blues remained blissfully ignorant, thanks to a great show from the gypsy-indie set DeVotchKa.

The band's rocking live presence turned up the intensity on even their sleepiest numbers, weaving complex instrumentals around singer Nick Urata, then backing off to let his mournful wail steal the scene.

With sharp, staccato violin, a pair of horns, and a booming sousaphone decked out in Christmas lights, the band's unique sound came across as well as, if not better than, on any of their five albums. For a band from Colorado, the act might've seemed just a little gimmicky if they didn't pull it off so well.

Urata's voice was the real highlight, and when the band stepped back on numbers like "How It Ends," his thickly accented howl had the audience eating out of his hand. By the time Urata reached his fingers out and summoned a high warbling sound from the antenna at his side, he had the audience so transfixed, the wouldn't have cared much about the hailstorm bearing down outside, even if they'd known.

Photos from the show, including openers Crooked Fingers on their last night of the tour, are up in our slideshow here.

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