A close to Godly experience. Deerhunter are that type of band. Getintothis’ stateside correspondent Ed Haas reports.
The air was cold, and a light rain pelted us from above, but nothing could hold the crowd back from lining up, almost around the block, to get into the Grog Shop here in Cleveland Ohio to see Deerhunter perform.
The club itself hadnÃÅt been re-decorated since Halloween, as stuffed baby dolls hung from the rafters, some of which were being burned by fake paper flames. It made for quite a surreal venue to witness a headlining live show that the Yeah Yeah YeahÃÅs Karen O once described as resembling a ÃÅreligious experienceÃÅ.
The first act to take the stage was Chicago noise-rock band Disappears, a perfect slot for them as they closely resemble the avant-garde shoe gaze Deerhunter has been doing successfully the past few years.
The sound was tight, and the thick reverb did not detract from being able to hear the lyrics clearly. The strongest track in their short set was the thundering Old Friend a blend of hyper punk guitar riffs, manic drumming, and a dash of Depeche Mode atmospherics thrown in for spice.
Times New Viking came out to a mostly silent crowd, and even though they hail from semi-local Athens Ohio, most of the people seemed to not know any of the songs they began to play.
The first thing I noticed was the lack of heavy static from the 2008 album Rip it Off, which permeated nearly every track upon it. Live, this gets stripped down, and not in a bad way, as now I could take a fresh approach the lyrics being swapped by Beth Murphy and Adam Elliott.
I enjoyed the blistering Teen Drama, which took on a power-pop-like appeal sans aforementioned static, and the frenetic pace of My Head a song, that according to Adam Elliott before it began, was not about drugs.
When TNV left the stage, I followed outside with some friends to get some fresh air, and there was Deerhunter lead singer Bradford Cox sitting on a stone railing chatting it up with some fans. It was nice to see a headliner just hang with the crowd for a while. Soon though he rose up, and to some clapping, entered the venue to begin tuning up.
The set began with a an even more danceable version of the song Dr. Glass, it definitely got the crowd to react more than any song previously during the night.
The next jam was an emotional outpouring of the tune Cryptograms from the 2007 album of the same name. Its infectious drumbeat, coupled with BradfordÃÅs echoed vocal approach to the lyrics gives this song some psychedelic appeal.
But the highlight of this amazing night has to go to Twilight at Carbon Lake, a song from latest album, Microcastle.
Dressed in dark whispers, the airy vocals carry a punch that effectively renders the crowd hypnotized, and the Hendrix-like guitar solo towards the middle only solidified in my mind the epic quality of sound this band puts into the live show.
The other real gem of the latter portion of the encore belonged to Fluorescent Grey a stark and sludgy tour through the realm of garage punk madness, leaving the full capacity crowd gasping for more as soon people had to channel themselves to leave the venue, changed by, perhaps not a religious experience, but the blossoming rock talent put on display on a rainy Cleveland evening.