Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Review: Dan Deacon live at Paradiso

PhotobucketAnd what a master stroke it was to let the Pains Of Being Pure At Heart lead off, lulling the crowd into a false sense of security, in harmonies and melodies before Dan Deacon takes the helm and tears everyone new eardrums.
DIY in his set up (pink gaffer tape, a green skull-strobe, an epileptic traffic light and some keyboards on a table) and hilarious in his introduction, Dan Deacon is all about crowd participation. Set off the stage and on the floor in an inclusive manner, he makes requests of his audience, not demands. Before the music gets going he sets the mood with a lesson in crowd participation that sees almost all the audience squat on the floor before, with a raised arm and pointed finger embarrassing those too cool to do as he asks. And then he begins. Like a schizophonic ringtone version of Ministry's "Jesus Built My Hotrod", Deacon's music is intense yet playful, serious yet pisstake, ear piercing and bowel trembling - if there is a funky smell in the hall, it's 'cos he found people's brown notes. He wails into the microphone as effects distorts his voice so he's speaking in tongues. His arm raised to the skies, he is a man possessed like, if you'll pardon it, a fallen deacon. Crowd surfers and moshers rage in the old church, almost falling on his desk as he nearly loses the skull-strobe.

Intermittently, when the crowd needs a break from the intensity, he plays games. Whether it's everyone with their hands on their neighbours heads, or dance offs with the lights on, Deacon keeps it interesting. The most amazing however comes when he pushes everyone to one side of the hall. To an infectious yet repetitive beat, like a sped-up version of the congo-line song he takes two 'volunteers' to form an arc with their arms before another couple move through the arc to form the beginnings of a tunnel. Nearly the entire audience play along and the tunnel worms from his DJ desk out the doors of the main hall, into the foyer, on to the street, around the building, up the wheelchair ramp and back into the hall finishing at the DJ desk. Ridiculous yet amazing.

So amazing is it, we bother not to risk being disappointed by seeing Hatchem Social play in the small hall, and call it a night 'cos Dan Fuckin' Deacon throws parties harder than Kenny Fuckin' Powers throws a fastball.


  1. awesome review... it was most definately the funnest party/concert I ever went to...