CMJ Report: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Louise Brask

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To be honest when I first heard the band’s name, the nascar-allure gave me no interest in ever listening. I’ve definitely heard too many American indie rock bands that sound too much the same, and i wasn’t into spending my night in NYC living that same story over again. Rather giving them a chance, I fortunately was dragged to their concert by other WVAU djs, particularly by the enthusiastic praises of General Manager Dan Raby prior to the show that afternoon.

Well was I ever a fool to judge a book by its cover! Their tactful performance made for a complete change of heart. A full-bodied indie backbeat of Animal Collective meets a lead singer with the thoughtfulness and clairvoyance of Ben Gibbard. The basement of the Santos Party House was p-a-c-k-e-d to the brim. CMJ passes were dangling at every other neck, roadies’ bodies ran in and out of the venue’s hallways to prepare for upcoming acts. Once Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. came onto the stage, the midwestern melodies started flowing, and the duo started playing a particularly bouncy track on their Horse Power EP, ‘Vocal Cords.’

Amidst the bustle of New York City, they turned the basement of Santos into an indie dance party. The band’s cover of “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys was definitely their golden moment of the show.

Lead singer Daniel Zott rocked the signature Dale Earnhardt Jr. Cheerios jersey that night on the Stereogun stage, and you can see him sporting the same outfit in the ‘Nothing But Our Love’ music video below.