So, I went to a concert this past Friday night at Crescent Ballroom, and it was a show I’ve been looking forward to for months, because MarchFourth Marching Band was the headliner. I’ve written about M4 before, and I was jonesing hard for some music from band geeks who’ve run away to join the circus…but as May 2nd approached, I realized that I was even more excited to see Diego’s Umbrella, the opening act.
That night, I officially morphed into a complete and utter Diego’s Umbrella fangirl. And I think you should all follow suit. Why? Well…
Diego’s Umbrella exemplifies gypsy rock, the kind of music that makes you stomp your feet and ache to adorn yourself with long skirts and layer after layer of scarves. Feast your eyes and ears on this…
The band is also the ultimate conglomeration of misfit toys, who fit perfectly together to create amazing music and a live experience that leaves fans laughing, out of breath, and vibrating. Their collective stage presence makes me want to crush them all with a group hug – and then drink whiskey with them. Individually…
The lead singer is one of my favorite frontmen onstage. He mixes the beautiful flamboyance of a flamenco dancer with a rocker mentality; the combination is soulful and sexy but with some grit. His posturing is beautiful and unexpected, which makes him fun to watch. I miss his long hair (which became its own character onstage with him when I first saw them last year), but the scruff and the smile he’s rocking right now totally make up for it. And the voice. Yes. Fucking gypsy pied piper.
The electric guitarist (labeled Token Ecuadorian on their website) can not only shred but sing. And boy does he have some pipes! I think he was only half-joking when he said he was doped up on weight loss drugs and every third person in the audience looked like Jesus. And I have to give him some mad props for accessorizing well. The cane was boss. And sir, that red flower you wore on your lapel…I own the same one.
The violinist (or was that a fiddle of some sort?) seems like the introvert of the group, but I also firmly believe you have to watch out for the quiet ones. He may not have been as animated as the rest of the crew, but his playing spoke for him. And when he really got into it, you could see it. There were smiles and grit teeth and getting low with other members of the band.
The drummer, who rocks a curly mohawk (totally swoonworthy, ladies) had an stuffed Animal (yes, from The Muppets) hanging out of his drum kit during their set. And he definitely also had a marching band kit that (wait for it!) lights up and is adorned with a sticker that reads, “If it’s too loud, you’re too old.” Pretty sure he was wearing a cut-off tux jacket with tails, too. Personality and talent for miles.
And then there’s the bass player, who is ridiculously talented and a real life Muppet – and I say that as a compliment with all the love and respect in the world. Seriously, I have never watched someone with better comedic timing and physicality onstage while keeping perfect time and slaying a bass line. And for the record, it speaks volumes that he asked my name and had a conversation with me at the merch table after their set. Thanks for being personable and valuing connection.
Diego’s Umbrella, I was the girl who lost her shit when “Pants!” started. I love your music. I loved your show. Proper Cowboy is on replay in my car. Please come back to Phoenix soon.
So…why are you still here, readers? Go to the band’s website, get yourself acquainted with the beauty of gypsy rock, buy some Diego swag, and catch their next show. I know I will.