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Live With the Colorado Symphony

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Album Review

Anytime a show or live album listing features some kind of "with symphonic accompaniment" note, people might be forgiven for still reflexively rolling their eyes. If nothing else, though, DeVotchKa have always aimed for the theatrical and orchestral flourish in their music almost by default, so a performance with their hometown symphony seems perfectly apt rather than a matter of overreach. Nick Urata's swooping voice settles among the mix of rhythmic rumble and descending chords with ease from the get-go on the opening "The Alley," and from there everything hits one high after another. Hearing the transformation of a quick, sprightly number like "The Clockwise Witness" into an equally rollicking but by default lusher performance is one of many joys, while "All the Sand in the Sea" takes the swift piano-led melodrama to even fuller heights and "Contrabanda" practically explodes into its dramatic conclusion. The all-instrumental "Firetrucks on the Boardwalk" perhaps benefits the most in terms of sheer transformation, with the addition of a children's choir at the end adding a cappella vocals turning everything into one heck of a end credits sequence (even if it's only halfway through the release). The secret weapon throughout may well be drummer Shawn King — his performance leads in the mix at many points, as distinct as the vocals. But the crypto-Western/orchestral feeling of so much of the band's music is the real winner here, so the choice of orchestra is more apt than might be guessed — there are hints of Morricone at his most stately on "You Love Me," while the swirling crash and clash that kick in "Comrade Z," another instrumental-only triumph, turns the Russian-tinged original into even more of a stormer. Whether it's the horn and string flourishes on "Along the Way" or "We're Leaving" calling to mind a Mexico of the mind or the beauty of the break on "Queen of the Surface Streets" leading into a triumphant conclusion, it's a great performance all around, and when Urata says at one point "Don't hold back because this is such a classy joint," the whoops and hollers that result say it all.

Customer Reviews


This album is absolutely sensational!


There's no other band that can compare to how unique and satisfying the experience is to listening to Devotchka. Add in some symphony and this album soars, in my opinion, as one of the best albums to date. Thank you Devotchka for showing me that great music still exists

So very complex

DeVotchkas music is a rare blend of many instruments mixed with a wonderful voice. It is very complex and beautiful. This was a perfect mix with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra that I had the honor to witness firsthand. They were good at Red Rocks and at the Boettcher Concert Hall. I've been following their carrer since about 2000 and they just seem to get better with age. I am not somebody that normally buys live albums but I had no problems purchasing this.


Formed: 1997 in Denver, CO

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The Gypsy-tinged quartet DeVotchKa were formed in Denver, CO by multi-instrumentalists Nick Urata (vocals, guitar, trumpet), Tom Hagerman (violin, accordion), Jeanie Schroder (sousaphone, bass), and percussionist Shawn King. Supporting musicians rotated in and out of the eclectic group's lineup, contributing such diverse sounds as strings and bazoukis. While some described DeVotchKa's sound as polka-rock or circus music, the band was actually a cross-pollination of numerous influences, including...
Full Bio
Live With the Colorado Symphony, DeVotchKa
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: Nov 13, 2012

Customer Ratings