Thursday, September 19, 2013

Deerhunter @ The Music Hall of Williamsburg (9.17.2013)

Deerhunter released Monomania this past May on 4AD. Following 2010's polished Halcyon Digest, Monomania marks a return to a more aggressive, garage punk style for the band. Since the album's release, Deerhunter curated their own weekend at ATP UK, where they performed their albums Cryptocrams, Microcastle, and Halcyon Digest in full. They also began touring around the U.S. and booked a run of three shows in New York between Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg and Manhattan's Webster Hall. They played their first show to a sold out crowd at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Deerhunter began their highly anticipated performance with four members of the band on stage: Moses Archuleta (drums), Lockett Pundt (guitar/vocals), and newcomers Josh McKay (bass) and Frankie Broyles (guitar). The band queued the samples for "Earthquake" without their frontman. However, to the sound of shimmering guitars and yelling fans, Bradford Cox made his dramatic entrance onto the stage. From there, the set took off in a relentless direction. 

Deerhunter played an eclectic mix of songs from their discography. They performed songs from their primary albums, in addition to an older EP. Several songs featured an extended jam section that transformed relatively short songs into hypnotizing songs that lasted upwards of ten minutes or more. This was especially true of "Nothing Ever Happened," whose explosive ending jam was stretched an additional six or seven minutes. Additionally, the show never really stopped for banter; every song flowed into the next through noisy, and sometimes drone, transitions. 

I find it interesting to note that Bradford didn't interact much with the crowd (or his band members) until later in the show. His guitar strap kept coming undone throughout the show and towards the end when it would no longer stay on, he gently placed the guitar into the crowd and let audience members strum it. At one point he also crawled around the stage trying to distract Lockett and Josh. Despite Bradford's antics, Deerhunter tends to stay pretty straight-faced and emotionless during their live performances. Yet as they closed their main set, "Monomania" not only showcased Deerhunter's real energy but proved why they are one of the best live bands in the business.

I recorded the show from the center balcony with fantastic results. Enjoy!

Dowload Deerhunter @ The Music Hall of Williamsburg
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Set List:
1. Earthquake
2. Neon Junkyard
3. Don't Cry
4. Revival
5. Desire Lines
6. Blue Agent
7. The Missing
8. Hazel St
9. Helicopter
10. T.H.M.
11. Nothing Ever Happened
12. Sleepwalking / Back to the Middle
13. Monomania
14. [encore]
15. Cover Me (Slowly)
16. Agoraphobia
17. Fluorescent Grey

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