Detroit pop duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. played a big ol’ Detroit rock show at the Majestic Theatre Saturday night to cap off Record Store Day and to celebrate how far they’ve come in the last year and some change.
The show certainly felt like an event, with the hometown boys — Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott — playing to a packed crowd and delivering a deliriously fun set of sing-songy anthems, including covers of Eddie Murphy’s “Party All the Time,” Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” a staple of the group’s live set which they said they were performing for the final time.
The show hit its peak with the group’s cover of Gil Scott Heron’s “We Almost Lost Detroit,” which with its Detroit-set video has quickly become a favorite in the Motor City. Dale Jr. Jr. released an EP of the song as part of Record Store Day, which featured covers of songs by Madonna and Rodriguez.
After extensive touring, the material from the band’s debut album, “It’s a Corporate World,” has been buffed to a high sheen, with the “Simple Girl”/”Vocal Chords” medley shining near the close of the band’s set. The band’s simple stage tricks — bright “JR” lights that look like they were made in woodshop, a bubble machine — underscore the simple charm of the group’s friendly, homespun sound.
Dale Jr. Jr. stacked the roster Saturday with opening acts Phantasmagoria and the Hard Lessons. The Hard Lessons, gearing back up for road duty after taking a brief break following the birth of Augie Visocchi and Korin Louise Visocchi’s son, presented a set packed with Hard Lessons favorites (“See and Be Scene,” “Move to California”) to the appreciative audience.