I took these photos.
Pretty sure what I saw last night when Deerhunter headlined the Bowery Ballroom is going to be in a book or a documentary somewhere, sometime, somehow. Thought that whole bro job nonsense was memorable, but this, well, this was . . . one of those moments you see wrinkly faces recalling in Behind the Music. Show was tremendous, despite some technical problems, but after the encore was the awesome insanity. Frontman Bradford Cox basically stayed onstage for at least 20 minutes and talked to the audience frankly, like we were his shrinks. About how he didn’t want to be remembered for trying to frighten people, but for being kind. About childhood. About wearing dresses. About how his psyche was like one “big, gaping vag” and inviting us all to “fist it.”
People got uncomfortable. His drummer politely walked out and tried to talk him into shutting up. His response: “I asked you to learn more songs.” He just kept talking. People left—psychological honesty looks glamorous on TV, but not so much up close. He karaoke’d to the B-52’s on an iPod. He covered the Germs with a friend in the audience. He kept going and going and going. Soundboard wouldn’t pull the plug: “I don’t want to go down in history as the guy who shut off Bradford Cox.” Seriously. Even Todd P, the sort of professional showgoer you’d imagine wouldn’t be surprised by much, stuck around to watch this all go down.
More on this later. In the meantime, some photos.
FYI, Deerhunter plays Pitchfork Festival this weekend and opens for Battles at South Street Seaport on August 31.