I've been a fan of Deer Tick for a few years, but had somehow never been able to see them live until last night. Regardless of my being a fan, I can honestly say that Deer Tick put on one of the best shows I've seen in a while.
Upon arriving to Club Dada, the crowd was sparse, but it was still early. After I grabbed a drink, I walked outside and sat down among friends when Dead People started playing. I didn't know of these guys going into the show, and I'm having trouble finding much about them now, but I wish I could get a second listen. I liked what I heard. I remember turning to a friend during their set and saying, "This is way more, punk, I guess, than anything I expected to see playing with Deer Tick." But, that statement is a bit ridiculous because Deer Tick doesn't really fit into a genre and their set proved it, but, I'll get to that soon enough. I don't think I'd truly classify Dead People as punk of any sort but there was definitely the influence. It was loud, energetic and fun.
The sound coming from the indoor stage at Dada is fantastic right outside the patio doors. So, we stayed out during Virgin Forest's set. I hadn't heard Virgin Forest either prior to seeing them but again, enjoyed it. Virgin Forest was a bit more, "folky", to me. No, there were no banjos or boots but it was more chill than Dead People. That is until between songs some type of electronic, dance something started playing for a few seconds. We laughed and danced in our chairs and once again solidified ourselves as the whitest people you may ever know. The Rangers game was finishing up during their set and I couldn't help but feel bad that some of the crowd were more into the game than the music. I'd like to see Virgin Forest again so I could get a better handle on them and their sound, but as I said, what I heard, I liked and found them to be a great opener for Deer Tick.
Now, Deer Tick. We walked inside for the show and hung near the back of the crowd. I was so happy to hear a good mix of old and new tracks, especially one of my favorites, "Baltimore Blues No. 1" from the bands 2007 release, War Elephant, and a few covers. I was also surprised and delighted to hear that John McCauley's speaking and singing voice sound exactly the same. By this point, the crowd in Dada had grown immensely and most everyone surrounded the stage. Everyone sang, everyone kept drinking, including the band. Although that can sometimes make for an obnoxious band member or two, or a less than stellar show, in this case, it just allowed the band and the crowd to have a blast. Not to say that we all wouldn't have anyway.
I know that I talk often about sound but Deer Tick live was phenomenal. Straight off the album quality, if not better. The band interacts well together and allows for something very cohesive. At some point, McCauley became pantless, clothed in only boxers, boots, a Dr. House t-shirt, a blazer and a Boston Red Sox cap. No one held the cap against him, though. The last song was from the new album Divine Providence, "Let's All Go to the Bar." The song was so rowdy that the fairly reserved crowd quickly embraced its rockin' sound and dancing commenced. By the end, the opening bands were flooding the stage, beer was being spewed on the crowd by McCauley and then came the attempts at crowd surfing by several.
When the set was over I made certain to tell every band member I found how great the show was. And it was the truth. The music was great and was, well, just plain fun. That's exactly how a show should be.
Apologies for the sound on this on this one. It was just too good not to share...