Dignan‘s a band that you have to see live. It’s not that their albums are bad, or even subpar. The McAllen-based band’s most recent EP, Cheaters and Thieves, is atmospheric and brooding—the kind of haunting music that floats through your headphones and straight down your spine. But as the band proved at their Sunday night gig at the Mohawk, their live precision and passion give their music an extra punch that won’t leave you for days.
|Farewell Flight at Mohawk|
Before Dignan took the stage, Pennsylvania’s Farewell Flight kicked off the airy, atmospheric music with their set of twinkly indie pop. Singer Luke Foley’s croon, combined with the jangly, reverberating guitars, invoked the mellow, melancholy music of the Fray—if the Fray was much smarter and more musically ambitious.
Unfortunately, very few people caught the bulk of Farewell Flight’s set, as most everyone stayed outside to sip mixed drinks and smoke cigarettes. It wasn’t until the band dove into their explosive cover of The Cardigans’ “Say That You Love Me” that attendees started to crowd in front of the stage.
But the room was pretty packed for Dignan, especially for a Sunday show. And the band didn’t disappoint; they chugged through song after song from Cheaters and Thieves, building layer upon sonic layer between Heidi Plueger’s floating keyboard lines, Davy Palomo’s surprisingly well-placed accordion playing and frontman Andy Pena’s droning vocals and finger-picked guitar phrases, the latter of which added more texture than rhythm to the set.
|Dignan at Mohawk|
The power of the music was not lost on the crowd, from the boom of the set-opening drum and bass lines of “Charlatan” to the chorus of the last song, which had the crowd chanting along.
It was a treat for the all who attended, and judging from the enthusiasm and power with which Dignan played, it seemed to be a moving experience for the band as well.
Dignan and Farewell Flight performed at Mohaw in Austin on Aug. 29.