Deerhunter Returns After 4 Long Years

Laura Weyman, Staff Contributor 

Savannah Stopover came back for another great round this past weekend, bringing to the low-country an eclectic variety of artists such as Lucy Dacus, The Joy Formidable and Andrew Combs.

The most anticipated act this year was by far the beloved Atlanta-based experimental rock band Deerhunter. The five piece collective had not released an album in four years, which left fans eager to finally have a chance to connect to their music in person.

They headlined Stopover and performed at the Ships of the Sea Museum stage on Friday, March 8.

30 minutes before the show, the room was halfway full and gaining. Impatient faces lined the stage, waiting for the lead singer Bradford Cox’s appearance as the sound crew set up the instruments and checked sound.

When the time came, all five members arrived and nonchalantly jumped into their first song of the night’s set, “cryptograms.”

Loyal fans cheered and screamed at the murky and ethereal synthesizer and electronic sounds. “Cryptograms” is the name of their 2010 album and the record that launched them into the indie spotlight.

Cox began the show by using only his voice as an instrument and held the audience’s attention with his theatrical presence for a few songs before he finally picked up his guitar.

Throughout the night, they skimmed over each existing album while Cox and the bassist, Josh Mckay, exchanged places and instruments multiple times throughout the night.

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Band members of Deerhunter- Photo by Laura Weyman.

Though Cox’s presence was very bold throughout the entire show, he was not very talkative in the beginning. For the first half of the set, it almost seemed like the band was not quite connecting with the audience. About half way into the show, Cox looked at the audience with a big grin and said,

“It seems like about 50 to 60 percent of you have no idea what you’re watching right now, but at least you’re all smiling despite the dissonance… Well maybe that’s the bright side of America, we just keep smiling through the dissonance,” he said dryly.

A roar of laughter echoed through the room, which seemed to have broken the ice between the artist and the audience. Everyone became livelier.

Cox pulled a woman on stage and placed his guitar around her neck. He grabbed the hand of a fan in the audience, who sang at the top his lungs the entire night, and let him scream song lyrics into the mic.

After their set, the band began to exit the stage, but the audience did not let them off the hook so easily. They screamed, “Encore!” and ended up being rewarded by not one, but three additional songs. Let’s hope they don’t wait another four years before returning again.

 

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