Last night at the Rickshaw Stop, the crowd set sail on a janky table full of guitar pedals, a shattered keyboard, and way too much neon duct tape.
Dan Deacon, an electronic musician and producer (but most importantly a performer) was the captain of this ship. The venue full of kids was packed tight, and Deacon made sure all notions of personal space were dropped immediately. Before a song was even played he instructed everyone to kiss their hand and plant it on a strangers face, and quickly after I had three unfamiliar palms on my cheeks.
See, a Dan Deacon show is not for spectators. You must participate, or experience the loving embarrassment of a room full of people staring and pointing at you. An unwilling photographer found this out, but there were no hard feelings.
In fact, quite the opposite. From his table of gear – which was brought out in the crowd, letting anyone take the stage – he began telling us all silly and seemingly pointless stories. But they’re not pointless, it’s to get you in that silly, naively blissful mood that his music radiates.
He directs his set as a preschool teacher would a hyper and innocent class: with goofy anecdotes and group exercises like dance competitions (rule #1: be sassy as fuck), sitting on the floor, and rubbing your hand through your neighbors’ hair.
Most everyone in the crowd seemingly already knew the program and was more than willing to play along. It was all too impossible not too smile and laugh out loud during his set, and he does the same. Deacon’s music is chaotic, youthful and outrageous; but so were the people last night, and the two married happily.
Bottom line: You need to see this guy live, it’s out right ridiculous fun. And the songs? Well, just have a listen.
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, a Baltimore band who played right before Deacon, definitely also deserves a mention as well. They’re a two piece equipped with a bass, two mics, and one drum, a floor tom. Stripped to the bone, they throw down old-school, ADHD- driven garage punk songs. Ed Schrader himself is part Jim Morrison, part Iggy pop, which as you can imagine is infinitely entertaining. Other openers were Sister Crayon and Lily Taylor.