02 August 2009

Last month, I saw the movie My Bloody Valentine in 3-D and shortly thereafter determined that all movies should be shown in 3-D. On Friday, I attended the Deerhunter/Dan Deacon/No Age Round Robin show at Sonar in Baltimore. Upon leaving the show, I determined that more shows should be in a Round Robin format,but then upon further reflection I realized that may not be possible because there may only be three bands that can pull this kind of thing off. There were three stages set up creating an open square for the attendees. After that, it was a sheer wall of sound. Sounds volleyed across the room as people scampered from corner to corner to see whoever was playing at the moment. 
It seemed like the whole thing ran through Dan Deacon. It was like he was Magic Johnson back in the '80s with the Lakers, and he's got the ball and he can dish it to either Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or James Worthy or he can keep the rock for himself and take it straight to the hoop. Deerhunter was awesome, though. They were this massive presence, and no matter how wild things got they were constantly elevating their game. It was tight. No Age were able to crank out song after song at a hypersonic pace that left the crowd always on their toes. But it always came back to Dan Deacon. The crowd was like his yo-yo, and while they drifted away at times they always came right back to him. He was the one that had them moving. Literally, in fact. At one point, everyone put their hands up in the air and we all walked toward the center of the room and then we all started to lean in closer and closer and then we came out of it, and oh, man it was fun. 
The Round Robin set-up turned out to be pretty rad. You start out just making 90 degree turn after 90 degree turn, but before you know you've covered every square inch of the place. It was just constant movement from one to other to the next. As awesome as this thing sounded in theory, it was just that and more when actually performed. It wasn't so much playing at the same time as it was just each band alternating song at a quick pace so that the music never stopped. Before the show, it was hard to wrap my head around how this was going to work but once it started up everything just took off. And it was just cool because there aren't any other bands that are doing this type of thing. It was an experiment, and it worked. Not to get too deep, but there were some really good vibes in the air and the people were basically down for anything. A lot of these cats could have easily been talked into running straight into a concrete wall if told to do it by one the bands. 

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