I usually have a couple of beers when I attend a show, but last night, before Dan Bejar stepped onto the stage with his couple of usual beers, I decided I was having Johnny Walker Red Label on the rocks instead. I knew I was going to need it during Destroyer's show to celebrate Dan Bejar's grandiosity.
I missed out on Bejar for quite a long time. Bejar has from eight to ten albums now, depending on how you count them, and I only got to know the latest two only a couple of months ago. They have hit me hard. Trouble In Dreams and Destroyer's Rubies have given me some of the most exciting -musical related- moments this year, and a new favorite artist to follow.
The beginning of the show surprised me. With no talking whatsoever Dan hit the guitar notes of Blue Flower / Blue Fame, the song that made me feel I was in for quite a listening adventure when I heard Trouble for the first time. I love that song on record, but somehow it didn't feel like the best song to start the show, probably because live didn't rightfully sound as melancholic as it is meant to be. A more appropiate first song was next, Rubies. Rubies is perfect and was welcome by everybody singing its lyrics almost in unison. Originally, on record, this song lasts a bit more than 9 minutes long, but Destroyer played it all in like 6 or 7. No, they didn't skip not even one note... they just played it super fast, like there wasn't anytime to waste. It was good.
So far I was pretty much neutral with the new reinterpretations, but it was Leopard of Honor what got me into the game. If you don't love this song yet, I understand, but I would say you need to see Bejar and his band perform it... see Dan's faces doing an effortless delivery of his eccentric voice by yourself, follow the new drummer's beat, turn to the guy in the keyboards every time he comes in, and watch how Destroyer's other guitarist steals the show. It was an honor to be there.
Check out the set list:
Blue Flower/Blue FlameBesides the seven songs Destroyer played from Trouble and the only one they played from Rubies, the band played one song (New Ways of Living) from an album called Your Blues and five (Crystal Country, Hey, Snow White, Trembling Peacock, Modern Painters and Self-Portrait With Thing (Tonight Is Not Your Night)) from another one called This Night. Particularly, those five songs were really really good, so guess what Destroyer album I'm getting next.
Leopard Of Honor
Libby's First Sunrise
Dark Leaves Form A Thread
New Ways Of Living
My Favourite Year
Hey, Snow White
Self-Portrait With Thing (Tonight Is Not Your Night)
All my favorite songs on Trouble were played last night except Shooting Rockets. Libby's First Sunrise, Dark Leaves Form A Thread, My Favourite Year and Foam Hands are simply the best rock/pop songs I have heard this year and thanks to Destroyer's band they sounded huge with all their drums, guitars and sudden twists that make them so good.
I would have loved to hear more stuff from Rubies tho. I guess he wanted to make a statement by playing only one. Dan definitely looks like someone who doesn't really give a shot for getting famous and probably likes to get on the contrary side of whatever related to him becomes too popular. Destroyer's Rubies was broadly accepted and approved, even considered his master piece (and still is? I am not so sure), and it seems now he wants to turn the page. I hope he gets back to love that album as much as everybody did and does it these days (include me right here), because we newbies deserve some second chances to live it live too. In any case, Destroyer, thanks for the night and see you next time, if there's any. [photos of the show]
Were you at the show? How did you like it?
Destroyer Links: Stream Trouble In Dreams, Stream Destroyer's Rubies, Fluxblog was there too, at Merge Records, MySpace, Wikipedia, Destroyer's Wiki