Shawn Chambliss, lead singer of the new band The DLX, sings at the band’s first live performance last night at the Historic Hattiesburg American Building. Opening for The DLX were bands Dream Cult and Devil Music Co. -Kara Davidson
Well over 100 show-goers pressed themselves together against the historic Hattiesburg American building’s stage in expectation of the oncoming musical frenzy.
Sundown marked the event’s beginning, and by the end, the acts had delivered the very nuances the crowd had come to devour. No one, it seemed, left disappointed that night.
The historic Hattiesburg American building on Main Street saw a successful evening of musical performances Saturday, with a turnout of more than 120 confirmed patrons.
The lineup consisted of Dream Cult from Jackson, The Devil Music Co. of Hattiesburg, and The DLX, also based in Hattiesburg. Lasting roughly from 7 to 10 p.m., the all-ages event received guests from across the state, even from towns such as Oxford and Starkville.
The building itself is formerly home to The Hattiesburg American newspaper and has been repurposed for recreational use.
The show kicked off with Dream Cult, who provided a unique ‘90s-influenced alternative rock sound that conditioned the audience for the subsequent performances. Hayden Boyd, the band’s singer and guitar player, is a former member of the highly acclaimed Mississippi pop-punk group At Cliff’s End, which disbanded in 2010 after a six-year stint of underground success.
Even though there were some slight audio issues at the act’s start, the crowd was receptive throughout the band’s time on stage.
The Devil Music Co. was second to perform and divulged a varied genre spread, even making a brief shift into melodic speed punk. Front man Marshall McKellar currently manages the historic Hattiesburg American building and was satisfied with the night’s head count, saying he had “hoped for the best.”
Crowd reactions to The Devil Music Co. were highly enthusiastic. However, the evening’s musical wave reached its crest at the final act.
Donning blue spandex masks during their first song, The DLX stormed the event with an onslaught of pop-rock that the audience swallowed like candy. The applause after each number was powerful, as though every guest had arrived solely to experience the 30 short minutes of The DLX’s first live performance.
The band answered the fanfare with song after song, employing even a ukulele in their signature “off-the-wall pop” style.
Singer Shawn Chambliss, a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi, said The DLX got its start about a year ago when he met current band member and music producer Mark Wheat.
“He was doing production, and I was doing music,” Chambliss said. “I showed him some of my music, and he was like, ‘I want to get involved in this.’ It just kind of fell together.”
While developing The DLX’s musical style, Chambliss sought to create music that could make him dance.
“I love to dance,” Chambliss said. “I wanted to move. And that stemmed into deeper things, and there are other reasons why we write songs about certain topics.” He noted that he writes about things that he and the other band members have personally experienced as opposed to typical pop subject matter, such as “parties, alcohol and girls.”
Members of the band have also founded an up-and-coming production company. Chambliss said it is intentional that he and the other members have both a band and a production company under one roof.
“People want to hear not just music, but good sound,” Chambliss said. “When I go to a show, I love listening to bands, but I also want to experience it.”
While sparing details, Chambliss mentioned further visual surprises at future performances.
The DLX’s first single, “Let Go,” released on Spotify Feb. 11. The single can also be found on the band’s YouTube page and website.
Although dates have yet to appear, fans can keep track of future shows and the band’s progress through its Facebook page.