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Dan Deacon Concert: Our Review

The high five circle that led to madness whirlpool

The high five circle that led to madness whirlpool

As we mentioned before, if you’re looking for some of the best party music of 2009, look no further than Dan Deacon’s new album Bromst. Can’t wait for the party music and desire the entire party experience to your self? Catch Dan Deacon on his 2009 tour in support of the album. Dirty Handsome caught Deacon’s stop in San Francisco while there on business a few weeks ago.

As with anything as Deep Hipster as a Dan Deacon concert, one must weigh the pros of the experience against the annoyance of being in the presence of so many hipsters at once. And we’re not talking your baseline “wow, getting coffee in Silver Lake/Williamsburg/[your local hipster neighborhood] is pretty annoying when I’m hungover. I swear to God if I see another “man” in skinny jeans I might scream” type of annoyance. We’re talking deep – VERY deep – hipster here: “I think I’ve been surrounded by some sort of emaciated self-rightesouly entitled species where everyone is trying very hard to look ugly on purpose and normal size/color glasses are completely unavailable” type of aggravation (and borderline disorientation).

In an effort to help you make an informed Handsome decision, a concise review of the pros and cons of our experience are below. Please peruse before making any rash decisions.

Dan Deacon puts on a great interactive show – Deacon typically does shows literally in the crowd with everyone piled in, on, and around. The day we saw the show, he’d completely dislocated his shoulder moving things on and off the shitty school bus the entire 15 person ensemble travels in, so he did his first show on stage “in years, maybe ever.” This didn’t stop the incessant instructions from Deacon; over the course of the 90 minute show the houselights came on 4 separate times, a high five circle was formed then mutated into the entire crowd running together in a circle, a dance contest was held, and a people tunnel was created that snaked from the stage all the way up to the balcony and back. Aerobic, interactive, and completely dizzying – what a good concert should be.

Musically top notch – seeing electronic music performed by a live ensemble is a secret pleasure of mine. Bromst is an extremely complex layered work, so seeing it come to life with a 15+ piece ensemble was sonically explosive. How can you say no to three drummers and two xylophonists, particularly when there’s still 2/3 of a band still unaccounted for there?

Low-fi video screen – personally, I loved the bizarre, crappy videos.

Dancing is good for you – don’t deny it, don’t fight it. You just want to dance.

Tickets were cheap – like $12 cheap, before Ticketmaster club-baby-seals fees.

Dan Deacon puts on a ridiculous interactive show – see above. This means you not only have to be in the presence of hundreds of assembled hipsters, you have to interact with them. In San Francisco in particular, but presumably many other Deacon tour stops (looking at your Portland), the crowd will be hyped up, drugged up, and days from a nearest shower. Also, while in the presence of such a characteristically judgmental crowd, it’s categorically impossible to determine if you’re supposed to a) not participate and have a bad time, defaulting to lazy irony b) participate, defaulting to do-anything-that-seems-dumb irony, or c) actually enjoy yourself, irony-free. Note: that was a trick question. Hipsters don’t do anything irony free.

Small venue sound systems – getting a 15 piece band to sound good anywhere is a challenge. Getting them to sound good when you run your own sound in a venue you could fill thrice over w/ sound check alone is a challenge.

Opening band sucked – while attending any concert for a band that’s on the fringe of your musical taste, the opening bands will suck. Apologies to Teeth Mountain, who make up a better part of the traveling ensemble, but their solo set was painful. There were hipsters outside that weren’t smoking. It was that bad.

Take the edge off crowd with a few drinks and go for it.

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