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Thursday, August 12, 2010
Tonight we braved the potential showers and headed out to Manhattan to check out the free Deerhunter & Real Estate show at Pier 54.
As the sun set over the Hudson River, New Jersey's Real Estate took the stage, playing some of their classics off their debut album and Reality EP. They played a few new tunes during their set including one they debuted at this show. On the newer songs, frontman (singer/guitarist) Martin Courtney's voice reminded me of James Mercer of the Shins and even the songs' structures had a more jangly feel to them. After their set, guitarist Matt Mondanile invited the audience to a late-night show for his other band Ducktails at Grasslands. The show also featured a DJ set by Deerhunter.
Atlanta's Deerhunter took the stage and really turned up the heat. I had seen Deerhunter many moons ago at a South Street Seaport show and was really disappointed. I realize now I was just disappointed with the muddy sound at that particular show. Wow, these boys can really jam. The band sounded great and so did the mix. You could hear all the nuances of sounds and the band's dynamics were amazing as the songs swelled between distorted blasts and clean and delicate instrumentation. Guitarist/singer Lockett Pundt sung a few tunes but Bradford Cox was a true showman, pulling off some blistering guitar sounds of feedback and samples while Josh Fauver's dirty bass sound locked in with Moses Archuleta's drumming. Bradford Cox is an amazing guitarist and performer. He kind of reminds me of a younger generation's Thurston Moore.
Toward the end of their set, the rain came down. They were rocking out on the song "Nothing Ever Happened" when bassist Josh Fauver lost his cool with a security guard who was harassing some people in the audience. From what I heard, the security guard was standing in front of the barrier, pointing out some people with video cameras or looking for someone smoking pot or something. Fauver threw a water bottle at him from the stage. The band went off-stage after the incident and security rushed Fauver into a tent backstage. The band came out after a few minutes and played an amazing encore of two or three more tunes. At the end of their set, Fauver shook hands with one of the security guards in an attempt to make peace and then the band all left the stage except for Bradford who stayed on, playing an intricate feedback guitar solo that lasted around three minutes.
I was really blown away with the band's set. I had written this band off from my prior show experience. Was I ever wrong . . . they sounded amazing at this free show. I've got some musical homework ahead of me catching up on their catalog.