Deas Vail closed out Friday night at the Gallery, and it seemed a little like a passing-of-the-torch moment. The late night slot on the Gallery has traditionally been filled with “old guard” Cornerstone bands like the Lost Dogs, Over the Rhine, and the Choir, but tonight an up-and-coming band got that coveted slot, following the Lost Dogs. I’m closer to the core Lost Dogs demographic than the core Deas Vail demographic but I’m a fan of both bands, so it was kind of funny watching the older Lost Dogs crowd vacate the tent to be replaced with the younger Deas Vail crowd between sets. I’m closer to the core Lost Dogs demographic than the core Deas Vail demographic. It’s clear to me that the older folks don’t know what they’re missing.
Cornerstone has watched Deas Vail grow up as a band over the last 3 or 4 years, as they moved from a midday slot to a packed evening slot to a daytime Main Stage slot, and finally to a headlining slot on the Gallery. Their songs and performances have gotten better each year, and that trend continued last night as they debuted a ton of new material from a new album coming in September. As hard as it is to believe, it sounds like their sound has gotten even more expansive on the new material, and I can’t wait to hear the album. They took full advantage of the Gallery’s excellent PA, filling the (finally) cool night air with beautiful melodies and harmonies. They’re just a joy to listen to, and the energy and fun that they display while they’re playing is infectious. The next generation is in good hands.