Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 03 September 2012 15:17

Concert review: Dan Deacon (with Alan Resnick, Chester Gwazda and Height With Friends) anoints the Firebird with exuberant sounds, Sunday, September 2

Concert review: Dan Deacon (with Alan Resnick, Chester Gwazda and Height With Friends) anoints the Firebird with exuberant sounds, Sunday, September 2 facebook.com/dandeacon
Written by Erin Frank
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The remnants of Hurricane Isaac may have rained out most Labor Day weekend barbecues in St. Louis, but Dan Deacon's show at the Firebird turned his brand of orchestral and electro noise into a steamy, collaborative party.

Things started out slow with Alan Resnick, not a musician or comedian, really, but more of a presenter of facial animation technology with a supposedly interactive avatar that looked like an especially uncomfortable Sims character. Resnick's set was odd and plagued by connectivity issues, which were thankfully resolved by the next set, featuring Dan Deacon ensemble member Chester Gwazda on guitar accompanied by thumping bass and recorded beats.

Height With Friends was equal parts Har Mar Superstar and the Beastie Boys, an energetic ensemble piece fashioned out of scraps of garage hip hop and basement karaoke machine parties. Led by Dan Keech, the Baltimore-based group amped the already bouncing crowd and raised the room's humidity by a few more degrees.

Dan Deacon's set opened with a crowd-wide apology to sound guy Alan, who, with his glasses and beard, had apparently been mistaken for Deacon several times that evening. The young crowd was perhaps still new enough to shows to be excited about catching a glimpse of the headliner offstage. According to Deacon, Alan was in far better physical shape, but could probably still benefit from a buddy visit to a gym to get "jacked as fuck, dog."

During songs, it was easy to categorize Dan Deacon as relentless; the rhythm and speed of each track designed for dancing, and if you can't keep up with the frenetic pace and adrenaline rush, then please step aside to allow others to enter the left side vs. right side dance contest instigated by Deacon from the stage.

Between songs, though, Deacon was relaxed and funny, chatting with the crowd and Alan, interacting with his fans in a loose, unscripted manner. Deacon may have expressed surprise in playing at a "proper rock club," as he called the Firebird, but he still performed as if for a small house party.

Deacon's tracks exploded with energy and cinematic swells, and his between-song references ran from "Jurassic Park" to "Terminator 2" to P90X. "Jubilant" is the right word for the experience, and Deacon presided over the festivities like a more musically-sophisticated but less Twitter-famous Andrew WK.

"America" is an adventurous cross-country road trip of an album, bubbling up past the limitations of all-electronic computer music and expanding into manipulated instrumentals, furtive atmospherics and dance beats. Songs like "Guilford Avenue Bridge" and "Lots" as well as Deacon's exuberance are honest attempts to bring some visceral emotion into the world of electro-pop, especially to a generation raised on the genre but not quite attached to it in any visible way. Perhaps someday, the floppy, Sharpie-X'ed upraised hands of the crowd will turn into ecstatically pumping fists, and the studied appreciative nods at bass drops will become enthusiastic dancing throughout each song.

And maybe, with the help of Deacon and his pop lust, these kids will eventually remove the earplugs they keep bringing to shows, and experience the kind of ear ringing the rest of us had so much fun earning.

Upcoming Concerts

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Karate Bikini - A Simpler Sugar

Wed November 26
Karate Bikini is an eight piece ensemble who's members hail from St. Louis and the metro area. They are a large band with a large sound. Their latest album A Simpler Sugar is full of upbeat pop songs,…

88.1 KDHX Shows

m-guitar.jpg

KDHX Recommends

January
Saturday
17

Recording Clinic with Patrick Crecelius

KDHX is proud to host a DIY mixing workshop for musicians at The Stage at KDHX. The clinic will be taught by Patrick Crecelius of Cedar Box Studio. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, his credits include such local artists as Ryan...


January
Sunday
18

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes The Boogers

The Boogers are the brainchild of Dr. Paul Crowe. Fatherhood, a PhD in Developmental Psychology, and 20 years of sloggin' it in wretched clubs as a punk rocker - even opening for Dee Dee Ramone and Marky Ramone - formed Paul's...


February
Sunday
01

Discovery Series

The Discovery Series, a 10-event series spanning February to June, 2015, will not only bring you new music, but also music-focused interactive sessions that take a look at how music plays a role in our society. Each month the...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

3 users and 13991 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook