CONCERT REVIEW: Deerhunter At The Starlight

BY PELLE GUNTHER It was hard not to be excited as we walked into the large, disco-inspired interior of the Starlight Ballroom. The ceiling, adorned with such a variety of party lights, mirror balls, and strange bubble-making machinery, was show enough. This came in handy because I spent the first two acts staring upwards with fingers pressed against my ears as they were torn to shreds by what can only be described as auditory execution. It was like being dragged by your eardrums down a sidewalk covered in screechy treble, overly aggressive bass, mediocre looping and probably every “airy synth pad” that garage band has ever made. I lose all hope on music by the time the only exciting part of it is a change in volume.

Finally around 10:30, Deerhunter appeared in what I can only assume was a large cloud of pot smoke, to loud and relieved cheers from the dream-pop hungry audience. The band was quite a sight, all with perfectly stoned expressions on their faces. Bradford Cox, gaunt as all hell looked surprisingly sober amidst his band mates, as the bassist giggled and smiled to himself while the drummer looked idly at the ceiling and walls. However the fact that the band’s eyes were all on the verge of closing actually added to their dreamlike tunes. Branching over their older albums, and playing every classic one could ask for, while still focusing on their new album (Halcyon Digest), Deerhunter played a very solid set. They started off a little slow playing a few of their more noise-rock infused tunes. Then they played Desire Lines, which  even got the overweight-mustachioed-40-year-old-Latino-with-a-mowhawk and his friend (who looked remarkably like white Jesus) jumping their hearts out as they attempted to start a mosh pit where one wasn’t welcome. By the time the band played their poppy Never Stops, this couple had calmed down, only to be replaced by a Guido who promptly began to pull his sexiest moves on a drunk girl who was having very little of it. This was extremely distracting to say the least, but Deerhunter commanded my attention nonetheless. Quite an impressive stunt considering the circumstances.

The best part of my night was probably the dreamy chamber-pop waltz from the new album known as Helicopter. For this tune, they turned the acoustic guitar into some strange harpsichord-esque instrument to play the ever so sweet waltz before changing tempo for a heavier resounding electrically charged chorus. The one thing that really impressed me was how much they played as a band, everyone seeming to feel the music through and through. All and all it was a fairly eventful and enjoyable night, and the openers only made Deerhunter seem even more brilliant. It was definitely a dream I would love to dream again.

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