Indie rock. Rock ‘n’ Roll. Americana. Murder By Death, a quintet from the small Midwestern town of Bloomington, Indiana, doesn’t fit neatly into a single genre.

Murder By Death’s headlining performance at the Ferndale Spring Fever Festival had the crowd singing along to brooding melodies and then quickly rocking heads – sometimes in the same song. The venue was equally eclectic. The Otus Supply Co combines a high-end eatery on Detroit’s eastside (boasting a killer whiskey menu and wood fired pizza) with an intimate music venue called The Parliament Room. The 150 person space allowed the entire crowd to feel like they were in the front row of a much larger show.

Murder By Death opened with “Alas,” a song off their 2018 album The Other Shore. It’s a perfect opening song that balances every instrument in the band. Resounding drums, rhythmic bass, melodic cello and subtle keyboard all flowed together, perfectly complimented by Adam Turla’s powerful and haunting lead vocals. They continued the evening with a mix of fan favorites and new tracks from their latest album including “Space,” “Strange Eyes,” “’52 Ford,” “Last Night on Earth.” and “Pizza Party! (at Gloria Estefan’s House),” their not so secret song where they have the audience participate.

The fans where entranced when the band played “Foxglove.” Then they shifted gears to get the crowd dancing and grooving to the song “Brother.” Murder By Death closed the evening with “It Will Never Die.” They then quickly returned for a two song encore starting with “Comin’ Home,” a hauntingly beautiful tune where the cello (played by the incomparable Sarah Balliet) danced with her husband Adam’s profound vocals. The connection the two have on stage is inspiring, and their electricity was felt throughout the audience.

Not one person left the room during their 17 song set. It’s like binging Netflix – it’s exhilarating and you don’t want the show to end, but when it does you’re left wanting more. Every song kept getting better and better until sadly, it was time to go. They finished off the evening, coincidentally, with “I Came Around.”

Murder by Death is a band that often flies under the radar, but their shows are always high energy and well worth the price of admission. Their latest tour will take them across the U.S. then two week swing in Australia and back to the States again. Pass them up at your own peril.

Murder By Death
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The Parliment Room at Otus Supply
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Ferndale Spring Fever Festival
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Event Date: 25-APR-2019