live review

Dan Deacon - Cassette Number Nine

Dan Deacon - Cassette Number Nine

February 20 2009
Cassette Nine, Auckland

Reviewed by Tash
29th March 2010

DAN DEACON
CASSETTE NUMBER NINE
20 FEBRUARY 2009

A voice of evangelical fervour cut through the blackened room. It led us into a bellowing iiiiirrooooonn mmaaaaiiiddeeenn tribute that had Cassette Number Nine reverberating like a Gregorian monastery. It instructed us through a slow motion dance move which slowly revealed itself to be one hand raised to the roof, knee bouncing ‘whoop whoop oh-yeah’ anticipation of what was to come. It was the voice of one-man band come shaman with a neon skull talisman, Baltimore’s own Dan Deacon. And from the word go it was clear we were in store not just for an electro-indie-experimental-savant, but also a love-thy-neighbour danceathon.

Amongst the pitched up melodic folk chants, moments of jungle deep bass, and smile inducing beats with sky high bpms, there were the crazy crowd shenanigans which have given Dan Deacon an “absolutely must see live” reputation. These included a countdown to a song emotively bent with a vivid narrative of bicycles, Spiderman, comic book market wheeling and dealing, and dog guts; a mob kneeling on the floor slowly pointing at those too cool to kneel, wiping a kiss from our hands to our knee bound compadres; a serenade to the sky, hand on hip, pointed ballerina toe, belting out a note to match that punched into his keyboard; a tunnel of human arms that snaked out to Vulcan Lane which left only a handful of people in the bar which was once packed.

And so it went on. Did it what. That dance-off! I think we were all secretly pleased as tequila punch to see how much jive we have seething under the surface when injected with some competitive fever. Maybe those lingering on the edge of the mania were less sold, but from where I stood Dan Deacon was the unabashed puppet master and we were his happy little puppets.

But in no way did the theatrics make for a lack of musical wonder. Mr Deacon delivered a driving synth crashbang symphony that instantly got us packed in around his floor level set up, dripping sweat all over his lovingly crafted, taped-together rainbow of plastic fantastic gadgets. A roaring, soaring, tight shambles of joyous collisions.

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