The Dig rip through synth pop set in Cambridge

The Dig has released three studio albums since their debut in 2010. (Christopher Romano/UML Connector)

Christopher Romano
Connector Staff

The sounds of the ‘80s came alive when The Dig opened for Dan Croll at The Sinclair. Playing through an upbeat, feel good set mostly consisting of songs from their latest release, “Bloodshot Tokyo,” The Dig made their mark on Cambridge on Monday, Sept. 11.

An unexpected high point of the night was when the band covered the 1968 Kinks song “People Take Pictures of Each Other.” A staccato synth, as opposed to dreamy synths in The Dig’s catalog, punched along with the drums to recreate this otherwise acoustic Kinks song. The Dig took the song in a new direction that picked up where The Kinks left off. Though the original song is loose and silly, The Dig turned it into a synth heavy jam.

Another song providing punchy drums and fat synth bass was “Bleeding Heart (You Are The One).” It is a dance rock song that is not quite as fast paced as a “Mr. Brightside,” but is nonetheless a great song to move to, showed the band could dance to their own beat as well.

The album version of “Jet Black Hair” from “Bloodshot Tokyo” is more reserved and focuses more on the flute-like synth and the percussive claps that play throughout the song. A guitar solo is hidden in the background of the mix, and vocals in the song are slick and airy in a smooth manor.

However, when performed live, the band takes the song in a more flourished direction. The guitar was dripping wet with a phasor effect and the solo was more prominent towards the end of the song. The singer was dancing around the stage, which made a fun song even more entertaining. Each band member was noticeably grooving with the song as the audience was.

The Dig does not have a set guitar or bass player, as both switched instruments multiple times throughout the night. Both instrumentalists also performed vocal harmonies if the other was singing the lead.

Something The Dig was able to do much better than other modern bands was reuse sounds from the 1980s. For one reason or another, the sounds of the ‘80s have made their way back into mainstream and indie music.

The Dig successfully use synths with bells and dreamy sounds under smooth vocals. Songs like “Simple Love” show that filtered synths are not dated if used in the correct way. The synth player usually is playing a lead synth and a bass synth at the same time, providing a full range of sounds to fill the entire stage.

Though they were the openers, The Dig brought out a powerful stage presence to make The Sinclair attendees dance and groove. If given the chance, The Dig are a must-see act for their songs’ call for dancing and for their commitment to making the sounds of the ‘80s cool again.

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