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San Fermin | photo by Joe Del Tufo

Much like the running of the bulls from which they are named, San Fermin tore through the Arden Gild hall in Delaware last night. Playing to a near-capacity crowd, a rare standing show for the hall, San Fermin balanced material from their eponymous debut and forthcoming album Jackrabbit.

Set up as a 13-piece band with the addition of a string section added for this date, the show took on a complex, layered feel. Unique in the juxtaposition of vocals of the honey baritones of Allen Tate and the soaring high notes of Charlene Kaye, the night had an organic flow, heavy beats canceling horns and harmonies, and a constant shifting of energy. Songs like “Methusalah” would build and shimmer, awash in the glorious light of Arden’s resident lighting wizard George Brocklesby. New tracks like “Parasites” and “Jackrabbit” already feel familiar, unique in their structure but immediately catchy and accessible.

“Sonsick” still lacks the punch of the studio version, as dense and challenging a track as it is to recreate, and I missed the inclusion of “Renaissance” in the set, being the first track that got me into the band. But these are nitpicks in an otherwise stellar performance. This is a band that is going places, and getting a chance to see them in the packed but still very intimate Gild Hall is a treat.

Setlist:

Woods
Lady Mary
Emily
Crueler Knd
Methuselah
The Count
Astronaut
Philosopher
Woman In Red
Parasites
Sonsick
Reckoning
2 Scenes
Jackrabbit

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