Last night I had one of the best concerts of my life. I went to NYC to become myself into one more Spoon fan, but I unintentionally turned into a believer of Deerhunter.
Pitchfork has been crazy about Deerhunter this year giving the Best New Music category to their new album Cryptograms and their new EP Fluorescent Grey and covering in their news section pretty much everytime they go to poo. I have both albums in my computer, listened to them, but only the EP instantly cliked on me. Their Cryptograms passed through my ears without much pain or glory... initially. Last night, thanks to their live show, the Deerhunter music exploded in my ears like an E pill.
Karen O says that Deerhunter's live act is like a religious experience and I cannot agree more with her. There is so much energy and intensity on stage with so little movement, that one can easily get scared. Bradford Cox, the band's front man, has a very particular look, due mainly to his sickness. He has Marfan's syndrome.
Deerhunter got on stage making a lot of what anyone would start calling a beautiful noise, with Bradford wearing a blouse with little black and white squares and some awful pajama pants with the FBI logos all over. Right, there's a picture up there so I don't need to be so explicit. One could feel he was in some sort of custom and in fact he was. Anyways, two songs later… no, two excellent songs later… no! two excellent songs later, during which my skin turned into chicken skin, Bradford took off his awful clothes and let us see his real him:
Bradford's tastes and/or fantasies are not what make of Deerhunter, nowadays for my standards, one of the best live acts of the moment. It is more the tremendous guitar that Lockett Pundt plays, the force and precision with which Moses Archuleta strikes his battery by all means and the claw and effects that Bradford puts to his voice. Deerhunter sounded stronger, more ehtereal and more aggressive than how their music sounds on record. After all the concerts I've been to, I don't recall a band that had impressed me so much with their show with no need to really know their music previously. Here's another pic to remember…
The main guitarist, Lockett Pudt, plays with an exquisitely saturated guitar of reverb and pedals. The guy has the attitude of a dead-serious guitarist who almost doesn't turn his body around to watch his public… Bradford, in fact, tried to move him during a song from the only position he adopted during the show throughout, only to see him slowly turning back on his feet with his eyes to the shadows and his back to our eyes. I am good at imagining situations at shows, but to me he was just giving us a clear message: Just Say “Yes”… to the music.
Deeerhunter played several new songs, and according to my amateur ears, really good times are coming (already!) for this band. They should record an album live... it would make them transcendental in music. Their new album will be out in the spring of 2008 and surely it is an album I am looking forward already. We only hope that in the meantime Bradford does not have a mental collapse of that kind that is not possible to recover. Speaking of which, last night, Bradford admitted to be under the influence of certain medicine he had to take before the show. I guess that was what made him brave enough of coming back to the stage, after the encore, to speak to us… man, it was like the show had just started.
Rather, the second part of the show began. First, he wanted to make clear he did not have an erection during the show. What? How horrible! How could such a thing happen?! Relax. It did happen indeed, but you must have been there to understand the atmosphere that was surrounding us... he was seriously on another planet while sharing his music with us. So yes. He got excited. But as I was saying, he wanted to tell us it never happened. It's gonna be awful tomorrow when my mom and my aunt start calling me asking about what they read on the internet about all those things, he said to us with a tenderness voice that many could doubt if he was being serious or just playing with us. He was still in his fancy clothes...
… he told us things about his childhood and anecdotes that nowadays he kind of makes fun of on stage, wearing dresses being one of them. As he says himself, Everyone has fucked up things they hide. I show mines with a sense of humor. I hide my own things, you know? Who does not? I sincerely noticed the nobility of this man. I felt in my interior that all this talking was not about making the show a weird spectacle without content to call people attention. And you know? that is the point, for me it wasn't weird. In fact, it does not matter. Even though I think that there is a message in his manifestations towards his public, he is seriously (with humor, remember?) showing himself and that is to admire. Later, staggering, he tried to sing for us a song by Aliyah (but only tried!) and he interpreted one of his favorite bands ever, the B-52's.
Deerhunter yesterday, unexpectedly, exploded in my head to stay there and become into something beautiful, like a big-bang. Deerhunter, thank you so much. [photos of the show]
Were you at the show? How did you like it?
Deerhunter Links: Stream Cryptograms, Stream Fluoresent Grey EP, Kranky Records, MySpace, YouTube, Blog