Overview | A love letter to DC9, delivered by way of Snail Mail

It’s been six years since Lindsey Jordan was catapulted headfirst into indie darling-hood and three since she launched an album that proved she’d earned that title. She’s headlined worldwide excursions and performed her first Coachella final spring. So what was she doing again at a venue like DC9?

The membership is the type of place the place cables dangle haphazardly from a low ceiling and the second-level dance ground sags when a crowd is especially rambunctious. However it’s additionally the type of place that’s an incubator, the place bands reminiscent of Jordan’s indie outfit Snail Mail go to totally type. Having withstood trials that different beloved space golf equipment weren’t in a position to survive, DC9 is celebrating its twentieth anniversary. This present was its party, devoted to bands of its “previous, current and future.”

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So when Jordan appeared on the stage on Valentine’s Day eve, in a shirt that learn “Proud Hater” and a spiky pixie reduce, it felt like a love letter to venues like these. She’d carried out at DC9 solely as soon as, in 2016 as an opener. However as a local of Ellicott Metropolis, Md., she reminded the sold-out crowd that she used to come back to the membership “so, a lot.”

Rather a lot has modified since these instances, when her breakout observe, “Thinning,” was launched to widespread vital acclaim when she was barely 17. When she performed it on Tuesday night time, it felt virtually like a canopy — her voice is now deeper and richer, with a bit extra grit, and the inflections felt tongue-in-cheek, as if she was acknowledging the adolescent, open-diary nostalgia head-on.

The present, about an hour lengthy, whizzed by in a trance of principally midtempo rockers with out gimmicks. Whereas the distinction between Jordan’s older and newer songs is delicate, it was on the latter that the uncooked emotionality of her voice was most modern. By the point the present peaked with, appropriately, “Valentine,” from her 2021 LP, the masterful swings between her low-toned verses and high-register choruses had underscored what anybody who’s being taking note of Jordan’s trajectory already knew: She’s a grasp of her craft and he or she’s solely getting higher.

If Snail Mail represents DC9’s previous, then opener Birthday Woman represents its future. Some would possibly name the trio District music scene nepo infants, they usually’d be proper: guitarist Mabel Canty’s father is Brendan Canty (Rites of Spring, Fugazi) and bassist Bella MacKaye is the daughter of Alec MacKaye (the Religion, Ignition). However the band, like Snail Mail within the days of yore, reminds us that the distorted chug of barely unsettling indie rock is simply concerning the good soundtrack to teenage girlhood. Whereas not but completely polished, Birthday Woman delivers, with whimsical lyrics about boys going to Jupiter to get extra stupid-er and “woos!” that sound delightfully helium-induced. Scandalized murmurs ran by the group when Canty introduced she was solely 16.

DC9 made its level clear by setting these two acts — one real up-and-comers making their membership debut, the opposite a weathered skilled who owes her profession to golf equipment like this — back-to-back. Most of these venues, rising rarer by the yr, are what foster this scene. And though bands like Birthday Woman would possibly sometime outgrow them, too, there’ll at all times be a youthful technology ready within the wings.

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