One of my biggest beefs with the indie music scene is the pretentious nature of many of the scene’s artists. We’ve all witnessed it—the teenager in face paint singing choruses in French over a backbeat of crying children. Vomit. In my experience, those that believe they reside at the forefront of an artistic revolution tend to be the last ones aboard the bandwagon.
Two pranksters from Detroit breathed some much-needed frivolity into indie music on Friday night. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.—yes, that is their name. And, no. You will not forget it.—brought their addictive hooks and body-moving beats to a packed White Rabbit Cabaret, in Indianapolis’ Fountain Square.
Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott, along with a drummer, took the stage in NASCAR racing gear only to shed it for three-piece suits. Think a reverse Clark Kent to Superman transformation. And super men they were.
Don’t let the band’s name and cheap gimmicks fool you, the sound is solid. Though Zott looks identical to Judah Friedlander from 30 Rock, he has the voice and energy that can move a room. Epstein would be a dream member of any band, navigating seamlessly from the keys to the synth to bass to guitar. His voice is stellar as well.
The duo turned trio offered the audience a premium blend of tracks from their debut release It’s a Corporate World, as well as a handful of covers. See the setlist here. By the time they played Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” for the first encore, the audience had worked itself into a frenzy. It was a full on party at the Cabaret that night.