St. Louis, MO
September 2, 2012
Question: What do you get when you combine eight Dan Deacon newbies, an America theme, and complete lack of inhibitions?
Answer: A text message from one of your fellow attendees the following morining that says “I’m pretty sure I got ghosted” followed simply by “Holy what the f***”. Let me set the stage for you a little more completely.
If you aren’t familiar with Dan Deacon, he recently released a new album titled America, which I so happen to be a big fan of. Deacon, an indie composer of electronic music, has reputation for mass crowd participation, and I stumbled late last week upon him playing at local St. Louis venue, The Firebird. A group of eight of my friends decided it would be awesome to all dress in America gear and head to The Firebird, and more than anything, make a spectacle of ourselves. Mission accomplished and as I tell the tale of the night, I’m gonna try to leave names out of the events.
The day started with me planning my outfit for the night. I had an American flag bandana to build off of, but not much else, so decided to make a trip to Wal-Mart to search for some Nascar gear. Shockingly enough, Wal-Mart did not have any Nascar gear, so I headed to Sports Authority. You have no idea how embarrassing it is to walk into Sports Authority and ask where the Nascar apparel is located, and then be shut down. With my hopes waning, I went to Goodwill, which was also bereft of anything Nascar, but I did find a very nice t-shirt featuring an American flag, a howling wolf, and the phrase “freedom’s call”. Perfect. From there, I also picked up some American Flags, with which to work into my outfit. Other members of my group sported a Larry Bird team USA jersey, a Kasey Kahne t-shirt, a Wrestlemania t-shirt, and a button-down short sleeve shirt with an American flag patch on the sleeve.
With all of us decked out, we headed to the venue, with a select few a bit worse for wear than the others. Some of us rattled the cage of several indie hipster attendees by frequently asking when Toby Keith would be going on. Others just made broad pronouncements that “We are Dan Deacon’s America” or “We are Dan Deacon’s 1%”. I also told several people that I am Dan Deacon’s step-brother, to which one real idiot questioned with, “Then why don’t you look anything like each other?”
Once the show started, it just got straight rowdy. My friends and I were in the first few rows the majority of the time, and there was barely a second where we weren’t dancing or thrashing around. Deacon’s onstage ensemble included him working the turntables, keyboards, and vocal duties with a drummer and guitarist providing support. The sound was incredibly tight, especially considering the live guitar and drums thrown into the mix.
Deacon kept the crowd intensely involved in the show, first by organizing a dance-off for a time, demanding that if you are not going to dance you need to “get the hell away from the ring”. The St. Louis show was also (I believe) the first time the Dan Deacon show iphone app was used. This app was free, and at one point Deacon directed that everyone get out their iphone and start the app. The collective of iphones were all then synced together and acted as the main speaker system and light show for that song. This was a very novel idea and shows how Dan Deacon finds more and more creative ways to bring the party.
Not being completely fluent in Dan’s entire catalog, I can only speak to several songs that I knew ahead of time, but even that seems unnecessary. If you are going to a Dan Deacon show to see one song, then just don’t go. Go to a Dan Deacon show to dance your face off, act goofy as hell, and (for me at least) have maybe the best night of my summer.
Can’t Miss: All of it was good, but “True Thrush” and “Padding Ghosts” were my favorites.
Can’t Hit: People in the crowd who were not on the level of having as much fun as our group. There weren’t many, but they stuck out like a sore thumb.
Epilogue: I would be remiss not to mention the three ways in which members of our group were disrobed of their American gear throughout the night before leaving you:
1. My one buddy, after an aggressive pre-concert face-off with a bottle of lemon cello ended up soiling the bushes outside the venue with with some unfortunate vomiting. His American flag patched shirt was collateral damage, and sacrificed to the bushes. One soldier down.
2. Another friend, who was wearing the Wrestlemania t-shirt, somehow had it ripped and torn from her person throughout the show until it was nothing but tatters. She was left to roam in a black bra and jean vest. Two soldiers down…and I salute you.
3. Finally, out of an act of only a Deacon-induced frenzy can result in, another friend was trying desperately (and with futility) to remove his Larry Bird team USA jersey. The immense amount of sweat rendered the exercise impossible until I aided this impassioned soldier, ripping the jersey off his back. This act was described via text today as “Just one gentleman helping another get his shirt off”. Third soldier down, but may he always be remembered by the crowd chanting “Larry Bird” as he waved the jersey around his head from the front row.