Supergroups usually sound like a good idea on paper (well, maybe not Chickenfoot), but what matters is what they do in practice: their albums, in part, but more specifically their live shows. After releasing a catchy, droll LP last month, Divine Fits proved it has the goods on stage, too, with a thumping performance Friday night in the Club Room at Pearl Street in Northampton.
Combining members of Spoon (Britt Daniel), Wolf Parade (Dan Boeckner) and New Bomb Turks (Sam Brown),Divine Fits (which also includes Alex Fischel) lands squarely in the middle of their sounds, which is a fairly expansive place to be. It’s full of catchy melodic hooks, sinewy guitar figures and relentless rhythm parts.
In fact, Brown powered the show with one slamming beat after another. Boeckner and Daniel traded off on lead vocals and sang impeccably together. Boeckner mostly played guitar, adding little cascades of guitar to on “Flaggin a Ride” while Daniel sang and played bass. The pair locked into a chugging guitar-bass figure on “My Love Is Real” and swapped guitar and bass on “Would That Not Be Nice,” while Fischel added chirping keyboards to a cover of Frank Ocean’s “Lost,” each song framed by one variation or another on a pounding beat.
The Ocean song was one of four covers Divine Fits played. Daniel and Boeckner each played guitar and harmonized on a version of the Rolling Stones’ elegantly wasted “Sway,” while Fischel added piano. Later, in the encore, the foursome started with a winking version of Tom Petty’s “You Got Lucky, Babe,” Daniel playing a spongey bassline, before ending with Nick Cave’s dark, cool “Shivers (Howard).”
Northampton duo Strobe Horse opened the show with a loud set of knotty indie-rock.