Dan Deacon at the Troubadour

Dan Deacon/Future Islands

Venue: Troubadour

Drinks: Two Sam Adams before Dan Deacon, an ice cold water near the end of his performance.

Song I Most Wanted to Hear: "Build Voice" which was called for and Dan responded "I would love to play 'Build Voice' but we haven't figured out how to do it live yet."

Musical Disappointments: The show was very loud. In fact, after nearly 45 minutes of preparation for his set, Dan asked for a TGIF soundtest from the band. They then proceeded to play something that was utterly deafening, he waved his hand for them to stop and then asked the board op to raise the volume "600%." At which point, the audience collectively gasped.

Superficial/General Impression on Singer's Appearance: Fat, bald with huge glasses. He wore a faded purple shirt that looked like it had been through the wash about thirty-thousand times and had faded to the point that it looked like it had been coated with baby powder. If he wasn't a musician, Dan would be a mad scientist.

Merch Table: There was a cool poster for Future Islands that I bought and a new 7" that they just put out. I also picked up BROMST on vinyl, which Dan signed with an Eye of Providence, 2012 and some other bizarre inscriptions. I will try to run them through the Dan Deacon decoder ring later.

Run-in's With the Bands: The lead singer of Future Islands was manning the merch booth and I spent a few minutes talking to him about a wide array of topics, from Frank Black (I was wearing my Black Francis shirt) to Baltimore (which is where all of that night's bands were from, sort of). He was an extremely nice guy and seemed willing to talk about anything before he was pulled away to perform with his band.

I went up to Dan Deacon after the performance and got to take a look at his magical table of keyboards and various electrical gadgets which were all held down to a cheap table with pink electrical tape. I told him that I really liked his album and he thanked me for buying it on vinyl and confessed that he wasn't sure they would make it through the desert in their biodiesel tour van without melting. I asked him how the trek was going and mentioned a biodiesel filling station in Brentwood but Dan said they were determined to get all of their diesel for free and that most of the places were happy to get rid of the oil. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy and thanked me again for buying the vinyl and coming to see him play.

Best Onstage Moment, Non-Musical: There were many great moments musical and non-musical. The lead singer of Future Islands has a very striking onstage presence; something akin to Jack Black performing King Lear. He acts out every emotion from the song and was apparently going to make sure that every person in the audience was having a good time listening to his music.

Deacon is also a consummate entertainer and was consumed with getting every aspect of his show just right. He stands in front of the stage among the audience, in front of a neon-green skeleton and lighting pole but he was annoyed that the Troubadour would not lower certain lights for safety reasons or turn off the bright Troubadour sign above the stage. "Well, I guess you will have to pretend that these lights are apparent even though they are not apparent at all" and later twisting the knife a bit "Well, at least we all know where we are."

Deacon was also very involved with audience participation. We were instructed to touch the head of two people close to us and repeat a nonsensical mantra which involved wearing blood for coats and an Austin Powers DVD boxset. There was also a snap wave that he conducted, a failed fancy dance competition, a bridge of hands built up the back steps of the Troubadour and around the balcony and a strange attempt at Jimmy Buffett's "If You Like Pina Coladas" with one side of the audience shouting "If You Like Pina Coladas" while the other side beat-boxed.

Best Onstage Chatter: Deacon set up a song with a strange psychedelic story about being at a Phish concert and eating expanding, depressed marijuana and having it blow everyone's mind to the point where they no longer need drugs. It was very strange and didn't make a lot of sense. I was pretty exhausted at this point from all the dancing, jumping and convulsing and so it was nice to take a little break from the madness with a little storytelling time.

Did the Bass Player Look Bored?: I caught a couple yawns from the Dan Deacon 13-piece ensemble on stage but I assume that had more to do with the late start to Deacon's set and not with the music they were playing.

Overall Scientific Rating of Show (out of ten): 8.6

Back to Main Page