Deafheaven -- San Jose, CA -- September 27th, 2013
When I heard Deafheaven were a part of the inaugural C2SV festival in downtown San Jose, I knew I had to go. Fortunately there are enough awesome bands to make justify the price of the 4 day wristband, but this show was definitely worth at least half of that. The show was held at the San Jose Rock Shop, which is an awesome new place that opened up in downtown San Jose fairly recently and is doing its best effort to bring back music to all ages in San Jose. Me and my friend Castro got to the venue about 20 minutes before the show was supposed to start and went straight into the venue with our wristbands. We were the first people in the venue and it didn't really start to fill 'til the first band went on at 8:30, when they were supposed to go on at 8. Me and my pal chatted for bit as the new Drake album was playing over the PA, courtesy of Kerry McCoy. After a bit, the opening band got on stage and started their set.
Said first band of the night were San Jose locals, Amonie. Amonie are an instrumental 4 piece post-metal/rock band that was kind of like Explosions In the Sky meets Light Bearer. These guys weren't doing anything that was out-of-the-box but they had a great sound and knew how to write some awesome builds and climaxes. Something I also liked is they didn't really leave people the opportunity to clap more than twice. They went right from one piece to another making it really fluid, almost as if each song was just one movement in a grander, encapsulating piece. They set some vibes that were very fitting for a Deafheaven show and I'm glad I got to see them, since I don't think they're that active of a band. Overall, solid opening set.
After Amonie got off stage, I went right up to the stage and set my position for the rest of the show. A pal of mine came through to this show so I chatted with him while Deafheaven were setting up. After about 10-15 minutes, the band set their pre-show drone and the lights dimmed. Soon after the band got back on stage and I prepped myself for yet another amazing set.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this crowd. The first time I saw Deafheaven the crowd, opening for Boris, it was a pretty typical hipster crowd that just stood there and took the music in, which I like for this kind of music. But the second time I saw them the crowd went absolutely ballistic the whole time, which I was fine with too, but I prefer the calmer crowd. So when Deafheaven started into the opening chords of Dream House, I just kind of braced myself to see if anything would happen. Nothing much happened, so I just assumed the crowd was cool and continued to do my thang and get #turntup for Deafheaven. I was the only dude near the front of the stage who was moving with the music and head banging for most the show, so I knew this crowd was more like the Boris show, which was cool because my limbs weren't gonna get crushed, but kind of weird because I was the only dude who screamed along for the ends of Dream House and Sunbather. That felt kind of weird. Either way, it was nice to know I could enjoy the band's set with worrying about my glasses. The band sounded absolutely great again. There were a few times I couldn't hear George, but those moment were far and in between. Dream House is always an absolute pleasure to hear live and when they played Irresistible over the PA, my friend pointed out that it was in a different key. I thought that was interesting. Sunbather was awesome, and during the end refrain, George noticed I was the only dude screaming along, so he got close, grabbed my throat and put the mic in my face. That was the first time I ever had a mic in my face, so I'm really glad I knew the lyrics. Just wish my scream was as trv and grim. Hearing Vertigo live was awesome. The part with the e-bow is absolutely beautiful. During the blast beat part that comes around the 8-minute mark, Kerry's pedal board cut out for a sec, but they fixed it promptly. The rest of the tune sounded absolutely awesome live and ending was mesmerizing. After that tune George tried saying his "thanks, we're Deafheaven from San Francisco, this is our last song", but the mic didn't work for that split moment in time. So they just went straight into The Pecan Tree. During the clean part before the climax George said his thank you and that it was their last song. I think that struck a cord with some people because during the refrain at the end of the tune, a handful of people including myself started screaming along with George. George fed of this and got super closer to everybody and put the mic in my face again. He also felt up the fro. Ain't nobody that can resist these luscious locks. For the second go around of the refrain George got into the crowd and it go super intimate. It was an awesome way to end the set. After the tune came to a close, the band got off the stage and I was expecting an encore but they didn't get one I guess. Kind of a bummer because I'd have liked to have heard at least one track from Roads to Judah but it's all good. Deafheaven killed it yet again.
Irresistible *over PA*
*Please Remember *over PA*
The Pecan Tree
After the show I got a copy of Sunbather on vinyl and talked to George for a bit outside. I'm hoping they come back next year. He said they've got a lot of touring planned.
Out of the roughly 20 times I've seen them, this was the first time since the early days that I've seen George completely annihilate (accidentally or otherwise) a mic stand. Poor thing was in pieces after Dream House.
That being said, this was definitely not their best night. Not the worst either, but unremarkable. Confident that Santa Cruz will be the superior night.
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