Zandari Festa — DTSQ @ Veloso

From all the fervor of Galaxy Express just moments before, it’s a race to the finish to make it to Veloso in time to see DTSQ. Despite most every venue being relatively pocketed in the same area, Veloso is quite a ways away from everything else.

By the time I make it over to there, the actual venue being as nondescript as Club Steel Face, the band has already started. What I walk into is not something I would’ve ever expected.

It’s the lighting. An odd thing to notice, you might say. Every act has their particular light set up to make the biggest impact in buffering their performance, enhancing its impact on the audience. Most of it is quite ostentatious, to be honest. Not distracting, but certainly something you notice. However, DTSQ’s lights… they’re part of the actual show. The scheme isn’t set up as a means to just make the showcase a bit interesting. The lights… the colors. They’re all major players in the performance itself, dancers flourishing the stage with their presence.

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This is, of course, part in parcel to what DTSQ represent. They’re a true psychedelic rock band, music as wavy as the lead guitarist’s hair. This is a band I’ve never even heard of, but just as ABTB before them, their notoriety precedes them. People had been telling me throughout my stay in Korea (and once they learned I was attending Zandari Festa) that I absolutely must see DTSQ live. Well, they weren’t wrong.

While psychedelic rock certainly not an uncommon subgenre, it’s not one I’ve seen done with the amount of dedication to the sound, aesthetic, and emotional fervor of this band. As I’m in the back at this point, I can’t really see much of what’s going on. I’m a small lilliputian of a person, so walking into a crowd of people isn’t in the cards. However, it does give me a unique vantage point of what’s going on. The audience, I mean every single person, is swaying. Shifting their bodies as if transported to a different time when Purple Haze wasn’t an abstract title for a song — it was a physical thing. The band is the catalyst, feeding the masses their daily dose of something purple, pink, and a little bit left of center.

Though I’m not in the thick of everything, the way they play calls to me. Perhaps this is what everyone on the floor is feeling: a need to reach out and touch. It’s a sound that’s steeped in blues, not unlike the Jimi Hendrix Experience (after all, all Jimi’s music is, is an eight-bar blues drenched in acid and ground in a blender). However, they’ve also got a kinetic energy about them. Even when they’re not actively egging each other on, they don’t ever stop moving. Taking a few seconds to talk to their adoring crowd every now and then does nothing to settle anyone.

The music is alive. It’s a living, breathing entity. I’m floored by just how true to form they seem to be: a true psychedelic rock band plucked from the ’60s and injected with modern nuances. It’s all love, freedom, and unbridled passion on that stage. From what I can tell, the band means every moment of it. That is to say, it’s genuine. They are absolutely flying in the moment, falling into each song as if falling into the folds of a lover and making a surreal sort of love. The kind that sits on the skin after both parties have reached their zenith.

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I know I’m speaking in a lot of generalities. I guarantee you it’s not for nothing. That’s exactly what I experienced during their set.

DTSQ is a band whose music follows no strict patterns, no rules. So certainly the way they perform would go the same way. Oh, there are the tenants of blues and rock you’d expect. Each musician is obviously skilled in a way that would make your hair stand on end. However, the true focal of the performance is the passion, the feeling, the emotion, the desire to touch and be touched. It’s far more abstract than anything I’ve seen at Zandari thus far. A full-sensory experience that, yes, I would’ve been hurt to have missed.

Though not what I expected, DTSQ is a blessing. Their movements, the way they seem to melt into their instruments, playing at times as if in their own little fugue states… it calls to the audience. Every crowd thus far has been wildly enthusiastic, especially for some of the bigger bands at the festival. But there’s a tinge of something… more in the air at the show for DTSQ. The audience was captured, put under a spell and utterly hypnotized from the musicians serenading them with their multicolored blues.

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