Live Review... Diiv
Upon arriving at London's Heaven, the whole area is scattered with tipsy teenagers. Non-gig goers look on slightly bewildered by the tremendous array of vintage clothes, baggy tops and glitter. Everyone seems to know each other or at least have quickly made drunken friendships to last throughout the night. There seems to be a lot of high expectations for this night and as the crowd grows and roadies finish setting up the stage it feels as though there's almost some pressure for Diiv to produce the same reaction live as their albums have done. They don't mess around or leave the crowd waiting long... After appearing onstage, projections of video clips start on a screen behind them showing New York streets, amusing signs, subways and Sky Ferreira.
After Zachary Cole Smith introduces the band, 'Diiv from New York' gracefully slide into the evening with instrumental Druun (Pt. II). The anticipating crowd is set off, not exactly forming a mosh but more of a swarm of hyped-up kids in a beautiful mess. This is followed by second album title track, Is The Is Are, Human and Under the Sun.
Through a fairly even mix of songs from Oshin and Is The Is Are, Diiv find time to make a political statement in support of Bernie Sanders and manage to have the crowd chanting for a presidential candidate they're not even eligible to vote for. They also settle the on-going confusion of the correct pronunciation of their name. “Hey, who here thought it was said like div?” And after a few shouts and raised hands in the crowd and in the band itself, Cole says, “Isn't 'div' here like a prick or something? Well that seems fitting, say it however you want.”
About half-way through the gig the band begin basing the setlist on heckles from fans who insist on Earthboy. “We've only ever played this song live twice,” Cole tells the audience but after a few moments of on-stage discussion and a hesitant start, the crowd gets what they want and the performance of Earthboy is an absolute gem. There are so many floppy-haired fans on shoulders that there's hardly a view of the stage anymore but that doesn't matter one bit. Tracks from their most recent album follow, and Waste of Breath has a calming effect on the worn-out group of music lovers as newly-made friends and strangers sway together to the angelic voice and mystifying instrumentals.
The whole room feels like a party as more requests and spontaneous decisions between the band members form the rest of their set. It's publicly decided that, “we'll finish with Doused and then do Healthy Moon as an encore.” The crowd has no objections even though at this point they could probably play just about anything and the reaction would be just as insane. Doused causes a frenzy and Healthy Moon is stunning before they end their set with Wait. I don't think there's any doubt that Diiv have the overwhelming ability to deliver and keep up with high expectations.