Lewis Del Mar returned to Madison last night at the High Noon Saloon. The New York duo is comprised of Danny Miller, their lead singer and guitarist, and Max Harwood, their drummer. Though still a fairly new artist, Danny expressed great appreciation to the crowd as he reported that their Madison show last year had been the biggest show they’d performed at the time. “We felt like we were way in over our heads … but now it feels like we’re all in our living room.” As the crowd cheered, a level of comfort and ease settled in for both the performers and the audience that carried throughout the show.
The pair kicked off their set with “Such Small Scenes,” igniting High Noon Saloon with its infamous muted beginning, fast-paced tempo and Miller’s raspy voice. Their eclectic sound brought enthusiasm to the small venue. Each song they performed, from “14 Faces” to their hit, “Loud(y),” had a sense of rhythmic variety, yet were all seamlessly pulled together through their strong use of bass that echoed endlessly throughout the night. The deep bass that, quite literally, shook the atmosphere commanded attention and dancing from the entire audience. Miller’s gentle voice complimented Harwood’s energetic drumming, completing their sound altogether.
Miller often spoke little narratives before many of the songs they performed, bringing an intimate feel and connection that reached even the audience members who seemed to have been dragged there by a friend. Before starting “Puerto Cabezas, NI,” Danny dedicated the performance to his mother, the subject of the song. His mother, who was studying to receive her masters here at UW-Madison, was one of the few who volunteered to work at Nicaragua’s first public health clinic, provided by the school itself. There, his mother met Danny’s father. The rest is history, or rather, told in “Puerto Cabezas, NI.” Its catchy melody and smooth undertones had everyone swaying to the beat.
Their uniqueness, both in sound and stories, is what I came to realize made Lewis Del Mar so special. About halfway through their set, Miller spoke of his multiracial background and ethnicity as something that made him unique. He confessed never feeling like he had to choose one ethnicity or one defining word to encompass his entirety until he and Harwood made the difficult move to New York to start their musical careers. Miller preached to the audience what makes us unique. He touched on the many things that make up who we are as people; this being something that should elicit pride, not hierarchical labels. In response, Lewis Del Mar received spirited applause and agreeing cheers. Furthering the night along, they continued to hype up the crowd by performing “Painting (Masterpiece),” an upbeat and rhythmic fan favorite. The crowd pleaser elicited arms in the air and lyrics shouted joyously.
Lewis Del Mar continues to be on the rise. Their down-to-earth vibes seem to collect more and more fans to each show they play, further cementing them on our list of artists to watch. It was another successful night in Madison for Lewis Del Mar.