Feb 9, 2011

Deerhunter @ Metro Theatre

Deerhunter are an experience. No doubt about that. Sometimes they bleed into greatness and sometimes they just bleed your ears. The sounds can veer from sheer beauty to ear splitting cacophony. At the Metro last night my mind wandered off sometimes to other thoughts, then I would be snapped back to reality and be transfixed by the power and beauty. I do feel, after seeing this band now three times, that they are sometimes like an exhibit under glass. You can study them, admire them, focus on them, but never truly feel close. They can be distant and seem aloof. I am sure this is more about them though concentrating on creating the wall of sound they produce, but it can lead to their shows being slightly unsettling.

Speaking of walls of sound the opening 20 minutes or so was concentrated fury, with no break between songs. Opening with "Cryptograms" the band displayed the theme of the night. Controlled fury and enveloping sound. Even the beauty of "Desire Lines" became a raucous descent into noise velocity. Soon though we had smaller snippets of melody in "Revival" and "Memory Boy", which felt like a reprieve. Of course "Nothing Ever Happened" was a monster live and I was ecstatic to hear them close with the genius of "He Would Have Laughed". Although even this song's delicate nature was somewhat deadened live. I later learnt that the encore was to include "Never Stops", which I would have loved to hear, but it was replaced by "Spring Hall Convert" instead. They then closed with an astonishing "Fluorescent Grey", which must have lasted all of twenty minutes. It was breathtaking and sometimes painful all in the one song. I guess an amalgam of a Deerhunter gig. They can, in the one show, take your breath away and also put your hands to your ears. Their shows are challenging, glorious, frustrating and slightly hypnotic.

Set List
Desire Lines
Hazel St.
Don't Cry
Little Kids
Memory Boy
Famous Last Words
Fountain Stairs
Nothing Ever Happened
He Would Have Laughed

Cover Me (Slowly)
Spring Hall Convert
Fluorescent Grey


  • At February 09, 2011 , Anonymous Jess said...

    I'm sad to say that I was disappointed. That last song was too self-indulgent and ruined the show with its relentlessness and monotony. I found myself inching towards the exit, hoping that something interesting would happen.


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