As local venues go, Canopy Club is among my favorites. Until Monday, I always considered it hotter, dirtier and more intimate than most places one could catch live music on campus and thus all the more passionate. However, the Deerhunter show on October 1st was anything but standard at the Canopy Club. Deerhunter’s second full-length album Cryptograms has been a favorite of critics since its release earlier this year yet even their indie success couldn’t help the band garner more than a smattering of fans at last night’s performance.
The first chance I got to see Deerhunter was at the Pitchfork Music Festival over the summer. I love outdoor concerts, but Pitchfork was marred by sound and staging issues I hoped would not detract from my latest encounter with the band. Sadly, sound problems plagued the entire performance. For most of the band’s relatively short hour and fifteen minutes set, the vocal and bass guitar levels were set way too low. A washed out wave of effected guitars plays a backdrop for Cox’s vocals on many of the songs on Cryptograms, part of the reason why it was so important for the parts to be mixed correctly. Cox’s usually stellar vocal stylings were reduced to mere murmurs in “Spring Hall Convert” and other songs I looked forward to hearing that night. Despite technical issues, most of the music was great. Highlights of the concert came when the band played songs I was not familiar with like “Dr. Glass” off their Fluorescent Grey EP.
The crowd, however, could have been better. Let’s be honest, the people attracted to this kind of music tend to be apathetic hipsters.aka the Pitchfork pack. Fifty hipsters in an oversized room isn’t going to be the best audience a band has ever played to, and Deerhunter’s set was no different. The crowd was almost non-existent. Frankly, it pissed me off a little. Deerhunter was one of the highlights of my Pitchfork experience, and Cryptograms is a ridiculously good album. With the amount of people who came to their show on Monday, it would have made more sense to play at a coffee shop.