Jun 12, 2009

Deerhunter @ Manning Bar

It was Deerhunter. It was meant to be great. So, was it? Well, nearly I would say. I was certainly impressed. At some points, nearly astounded. But for some reason I wasn't moved Thursday night at the Manning Bar. You know, in that way when a show moves your foundations. Makes your bones ache at the music on display. Maybe Deerhunter are designed to impress and startle you, not exactly enter your heart. Make no mistake this is a very impressive band. Just not an particularly endearing one.

So, an atmosphere was created. Guitars shimmered and sometimes shredded. These men can surely wield their instruments. Intricate interplay between guitars was on display, with a barrage of drums to back it up. After a slow build up the band launched into "Agoraphobia", their latest 'hit', which was soon followed by "Little Kids", a strong start indeed, songs from 2009's "Microcastle", the album that turned me into a Deerhunter fan. The album that preceded it, "Cryptograms" is more difficult to my ears. More drone then melody. I think this is where the show lapsed for me in part. Songs like "Cryptograms" and "White Ink" create feelings and strange sounds, sometimes difficult to swallow. Maybe I need to invest myself more in their sound, but that is what my ears are telling me. However the driving rhythms of "Never Stops" were great. Guitars meshed with drums with great effect here. Then "Nothing Ever Happened" absolutely tore me apart. This multi faceted song built and built before exploding in the final section. After this I was satisfied, although there were still good moments to come. "Octet" was all dreamy power and "Saved By Old Times" really stomped and rocked. A song off their new EP closed, "Circulation", which dragged a bit, adding to a night that had great peaks and but also some flat spots. I couldn't fault the band though. Bradford Cox, although not a great singer, is an exceptional guitarist and Lockett Pundt played his guitar licks with expert indifference. Drummer Moses Archuleta was dynamic in his craft, supplying great rhythms through out the night. The set was also a decent length, augmented by a two song encore where Cox asked for requests. They gave us "Spring Hall Convert", which was a triumph and then "Operation", although Cox deemed this song to be 'waste' of a request. The encore was also the only time where Cox opened up and spoke. Previously they had been very business like, with barely a word spoken. Maybe this was why the night did not soar completely for me. I witnessed a great amount of craft and skill, but not a lot of heart. However each band is shaped in its own way and this band is certainly very impressive. Certainly very impressive at what they do. Which they do very well.

Set List
Cover Me (Slowly)
Agoraphobia
Little Kids
Intro
Cryptograms
White Ink
Never Stops
Dr Glass
Hazel St
Nothing Ever Happened
Microcastle
Game Of Diamonds
Vox Celeste
Fluorescent Grey
Octet
Rainwater Cassette Exchange
Saved By Old Times
Circulation

Spring Hall Convert
Operation

2 Comments:

  • At June 12, 2009 , Anonymous Tim said...

    lol, I can see my stupid face in the bottom right of that picture. Great gig, thought the crowd was disappointing though. Didn't really get into it and barely applauded when it deserved a better ovation than that.

     
  • At June 13, 2009 , Blogger Wayne said...

    Tim, the crowd did seem a bit subdued. I think Bradford mentioned it felt like a 'library'. Very impressed by their musicianship though.

     

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