Noise Pop ’09: Deerhunter Open Fest

25 02 2009

Deerhunter packed the Mezannine for a free concert at the opening night party of Noisepop on Tuesday. A depressing performance by opening act Lilofee, who’s sound strangely marries Depeche Mode’s snyth sounds with the reverb loops and electric rhythms of experimental rock, led the crowd to booze and mingle in anticipation of the marquee act. As fans jockied for position before the show, a video graphics display of epileptically distorted clips from tiger attacks, explosions viewed in rewind, and the films Logan’s Run and The Warriors entertained the crowd.

photo by Adam Planas

The Deerhunter set began as their songs often do: quietly, with an atmospheric undulation of timbre, the shadow of reverb looped before gradually ascending towards the heights of experimental intensity. The gaunt, pale figure of lead singer Bradford Cox embodies this aesthetic. His arms spindly and skeletal, his eyes sunk, his cheekbones pronouced, he looks as if his body will soon pass into ether. Cox grounds this tenuously connected whisper of self with a maudlin mouth and frenetic sense of stage humor. As the end of the show approached, the band amplified the equalizer’s high to earsplitting effect, the looped reverb now a concussive ringing. This sound underlay the entire 15 minute encore, a tantric tinnitus ringing in audience ears long after the band’s final exit.




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