Currywurds - Devourable Content
April 2018

SELLING OUT A SWEATY NIGHT AT THE HIGH DIVE WITH YARDIJ, KING COMPLEX, FLIPTURN, AND THE HAILS


Mackenzie Patel
Photos by Edysmar Diaz-Cruz
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The High Dive is more familiar than my accounting classrooms at this point: I’ll skip a few financial reporting lectures, but missing a local performance at the HD is a goddamn crime. The sweat, smoke, and dirty mirrors in the girls’ bathroom are comforting, like your most played song on Spotify or a rum cigar. Yardij, King Complex, flipturn, and The Hails performed at the HD on Saturday, April 7th, selling out the venue and even prompting a Facebook post from The High Dive itself.  “It just shows that if you work hard, promote your band, and write some good songs, anything is possible here in Gainesville!”

And Saturday night, anything was possible; I realized flipturn gives Cage The Elephant a run for its money and banging out to electronic rock in the front row is normal. It was also my first time being 21 there, so the beers were liberal and I shared an inside smile with the tattooed doorman as he didn’t write X’s on my hand.

I’ve seen flipturn seven times and King Complex three, but The Hails and Yardij were names with little backstory. I expected indie rock or pop, but overall, the slate was blank and tinged with the influence of my Guinness and Swamphead’s Big Nose.

YARDIJ

I was late to Yardij’s set (I needed to chug a Becks first), but the music I did experience was rocker and sublime. Their sound was as electric as the color of ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­lead-singer Deja Elyze’s hair, the hardness of the drums contrasting with Elyze’s softer voice. I remember thinking “damn, her voice is really good,” and her vocals, compounded with the drama of the bongo-like drums, added to their performance. I was reminded of Paramore or the alternative rock version of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The high divers were just milling in (Yardij’s set time was an early 8:30 p.m.), but they were an opening act that whetted my appetite for more rock.

KING COMPLEX

With King Complex, it’s easy to lose yourself in the electric guitar, like the sound waves are tangible galaxies instead of invisible frequencies. There’s something primal about the band, which is ironic considering the electronic elements should make them sound futuristic. MedicationTravelingCloser – all were original songs I lost myself to, as well as the tasteful cover of Somebody Told Me by The Killers. King Complex is more hardcore rock than electronic rock live, and being so enveloped in shattered light but cohesive sound was incredible. People always reference Slenderman, but the vibe I got (at least from the drummer, Cody) was of Gollum from Lord of the Rings. His outline twitched and organically stroked the drums, like they were his “precious.”

Their voices were muffled at times, but the foggy lyrics, higher pitched and lilting, only added to the feeling of not really being there, of being cramped and smoked out in the High Dive. I couldn’t help closing my eyes and sighing. Before I wrote this, my friend introduced me to the anime series Daft Punk created for Discovery – and holy shit, all the parallels suddenly converged. “Extraterrestrial” without the anime love story, King Complex brought the enchanting to Gainesville and will be playing in Saint Petersburg this upcoming weekend (April 14th).

FLIPTURN


Eight times later, and I stillclamor to see every flipturn performance. I’m usually a fangirl in the front, all sticky hair and sore feet, but the mild raging to King Complex wore me out. Standing by the merchandise tables in the back, I experienced flipturn from a discrete vantage point. Just as incredible, just as moving, and just as familiar, yet it wasn’t only me screaming California, I’m okay. The High Dive was packed with one of the biggest, dedicated crowds I’ve seen, a crowd that knew the lyrics and seemed as invested in flipturn’s music and success as I was. There was nothing sweeter than hearing a full house – tipsy and high– singing lyrics I’ve streamed hundreds of times.  

Their setlist wasn’t surprising (i.e. Beep, Cold, Vanilla, Churches, August, Chicago), but their cover ofCigarette Daydreams by Cage The Elephant was 10/10. It was unexpected but so fitting since it was sung by college kids who were living realities of those coming-of-age lyrics. Dillon broke a guitar string and needed another one (this has happened at the HD before), but their flow couldn’t be interrupted by anything. Even Dillon’s inclusion of the tambourine tied in with Yardij’s tambourine sound perfectly.

THE HAILS

Although The Hails played last, the crowd thinned after the climax of flipturn. I’ve heard “The Hails” tossed around plenty, but it was my first time experiencing their alt rock sound.  The five-piece band didn’t strike me as a boy band; rather, they’re in that stage between a teenybopper obsession and the maturity of James Taylor. My favorite song was Younger – it was near the end, when the floor wasn’t packed and couples were holding one another. Their music is sensual, but I attribute that to their lowkey grooves rather than the appearances of lead-singer Robbie Kingsley or the other boys (although they are nice to look at). Kingsley’s voice is so clear, unlike the buffed one of Dillon Basse or the muffled one of King Complex.
Selling out the High Dive is impressive, and it makes the experience richer for concertgoer – anythingis better surrounded by 450+ feverous, passionate people. It was an intersection of the old and the new, of electronic rock and indie alternative. And my God, was I in my element.
M.K.P.
CURRYWURDS - 2018