Getty Images Deerhunter/Atlas Sound mastermind Bradford Cox is heading to the…
- Posted on Oct 23rd 2010 2:55AM by Anna Deem
Amy Sussman, WireImage
'Desire Lines' from Deerhunter's new album, 'Halcyon Digest,' kicked off their set, with guitarist Lockett Pundt handling lead vocal duties instead of Cox. Fans nodded along thoughtfully as soft yellow lights framed their faces. The opening chords of 'Hazel St.' brought about resounding cheers from the crowd, as they applauded the older 'Cryptograms' favorite. Like the well-oiled touring machine that they are, Deerhunter segued from song-to-song, dragging out guitar feedback or bass lines as transitions. New songs like 'Don't Cry' and 'Revival' had the crowd jumping in place and waving their arms at the stage, looking more like they were beckoning at a great deity, rather than a four-piece indie rock band from Atlanta.
Flashing strobe lights and carefully crafted distortion highlighted older songs like 'Never Stops' and 'Little Kids,' but it was 'Nothing Ever Happened' that really woke the room up. Fans pumped their fists in the air and banged their heads enthusiastically as the instantly recognizable bass line and chiming guitar riffs rang out together. White beams of light flickered on and off and then went off during the song's breakdown, leaving the band almost entirely in the dark, surrounded only by their sonic squalls. Cox and Pundt -- along with bassist Josh Fauver and drummer Moses Archuleta -- formed a tight, interlocking groove as they extended the breakdown into an all-out feedback jam session. The crowd stared in awe at the spectacle before them and proceeded to sway and nod along for the entire 10-minute-plus affair.
As the final strains of noise faded out, it was clear that Deerhunter wouldn't be able to pull out any other songs that would top such an inspiring performance. Fortunately, they seemed to be aware of this fact and instead slowed things down with Cox donning his acoustic guitar and leading the rest of the band in a hypnotizing version of 'Earthquake,' which segued directly into the harpsichord-like guitar intro of 'He Would Have Laughed,' which Cox told the crowd was 'for Jay,' touching on his tribute to singer/guitarist Jay Reatard, who died earlier this year.
Appearing back on-stage less than a minute later for their two-song encore, Cox announced his love for Chicago. "Chicago is like a second home to us," he said. "It means a lot to us that you guys all came out. I feel sentimental." With that, the haunting melodies of 'Basement Scene' rung out, with Cox clutching the microphone with one hand and tapping a tambourine with the other. He promptly dropped the tambourine on the floor as the song faded out and the last song of the night, 'Fluorescent Grey,' delighted fans with its crushing feedback that enveloped the room.