By Claire Dietz
DIIV performed April 7 at the Englert as a part of Mission Creek Festival. The Englert is not the typical place one would see people eagerly crowding closer to the stage in hopes of getting near their favorite artist, but DIIV fans seemed to upend that expectation.
Against a red-brick backdrop, the sign announcing the performance was simple, featuring red lights and haze. The sign bearing their name soon had projections on it, and slowly, people got out of their seat in an effort to get closer to the New York band.
The group combines rock and roll with some elements of more new age rock that creates a distinct, interesting sound. The band members were at ease on stage, unabashedly asking their mates, “How does this start?” when they played covers. They cracked knuckles into microphones and jokingly played Steven Spielberg covers (one member interrupted the show to start playing the Jaws theme on his guitar).
The group members are not only at ease on stage with their audience but with each other. They play in a way that seems freer, uninhibited, willing to experiment, and play with their sound while on stage.
This dynamic transferred to the audience, one that was interactive and surprisingly talkative. One audience member had been dubbed a “howler monkey” by the group as the performance progressed. It was all in good fun, the audience member was always quick to scream and howl, literally, encouragement to the musicians as they played.
The band played with ease and humor, ready to playfully insult Beethoven and conversing about abstract guitar chords.
DIIV is a band about honesty, from its songs about former struggles with drugs and staying clean to how the members carry themselves onstage. They create an environment that is warm and welcoming to all those that went to their show at the Englert.