Deafheaven + Aderlating @ 013
As I already wrote earlier Deafheaven surprised me a lot with the release of Sunbather. Even so much that I was kind of hesitant to go and see them live in Tilburg. It wouldn’t be the first time that a band’s live performance is so bad that I have less pleasure listening to their records afterwards. While I was hesitant it seemed most people weren’t because the small stage of the 013 was sold out for Deafheaven.
The 200 plus people attending the show did however work their way through the performance by Dutch duo Aderlating first. And with work I mean stand there and digest a performance that might be odd and uncomfortable for those who usually don’t attend more underground shows. Aderlating is a more or less instrumental act who use old black and white footage, samples and overdubs to create an occult kind of sphere. Impressive for the first fifteen minutes but after half an hour I personally was looking forward to Deafheaven.
Hipster black metal? Mogwai meets Marduk? Call it what you want but Deafheaven sure is an impressive band. Not only on record but also on stage. That is if you can get past frontman George Clark’s theatrical performance. In a way his movements on stage remind me a lot of those of Editor’s Tom Smith. Only more exaggerated. However it does work because after the show people were talking about just how much of a presence he is on stage. He’s screaming vocals hold up throughout the set whereas sometimes with bands like these the vocalist overscreams himself during the first three songs and continuously has to pace down to catch his breath further in.
But Deafheaven is way more than George Clark. There’s also the brilliant songwriting by Kerry McCoy. The mix of beautiful melodies and aggressive riffs that makes Sunbather one of the best records of 2013 also works well in a live setting. Deafheaven are able to get you in a trance-like state wherein you forget the fact that the band plays well over an hour and barely interacts with the audience.
With records like Sunbather and Roads To Judah and great live shows Deafheaven sure are making a name for themselves. More and more people seem to find out about the band and I’m curious as to where they are heading in 2014.