Concert Review: Daniel and the Lion at the Majestic

May 27, 2015 at 11:44 am

: Daniel and the Lion
WHEN: May 26, 2015
WHERE: The Majestic Café, Detroit

Five men in the world’s finest denim and one woman with a flute are the secrets to visual and musical success.

Soon to be renamed Canyon Spells, the artists formerly known as Daniel and the Lion have all these ingredients. They’re are a little over halfway through their summer 2015 tour, working on a third album, and bringing nothing but irresistible melancholy soul to their set.

Though their tiny stage at the Majestic was packed on Tuesday night, these six Wisconsin rockers are not any kind of JethroTull or Partridge Family experiment. Satisfying, alternative rock to the core, Daniel and the Lion’s music is accessible yet deep, inventive yet strewn with classic rock elements.

The cozy café/bar felt crowded and intimate when the band took the stage. Blue lighting (from electric spotlights and post-thunderstorm Detroit dusk) was all they needed — it shone on each musician’s face, perfectly encapsulating the band’s bluesy aura as they plunged into their first hypnotic tune.

Standout songs include the unreleased “Magic,” which, according to lead singer Jimmie Linville who wrote it in the shower, will hopefully be a track on their next album. “Is it me or are we guaranteed to die?” it began, grabbing everyone in the room immediately, and proceeded to blossom into a quasi-psychedelic, harmony-driven jam (think: “Because” by The Beatles with more structure). “Innocence” was just as good—kind of a throwback tune, it reminds the listener of an old time-y rock song with pleading, ‘50s-esque chords. Linville’s voice is silky with the perfect amount of edge, guiding each song with inherent passionand skill. Interesting piano inflections and strong accompaniment all around rounded the edges of their performance.

Daniel and the Lion are on the brink of something fantastic. It’s cool to watch them escape the lion’s den through their music.