Slanted and Enchanted - The Astor/The Bakery 7/12/13
It was an intense evening, as I anticipated what would happen at Slanted & Enchanted. As I walked in, the regular local acts had already performed, and on the main stage, the headliners’ roadies were hustling around like little rats.
With an album amongst most people’s top of 2013, Deerhunter graced the stage at the pretty Astor Theatre with relative confidence. With frontman Bradford Cox, emerging last, so as to emphasize his significance/hair style choice. His Perth jokes left much to be desired, but he soon got the hipsters swaying.
Big name in indie rock for the past 5 years, their earlier sonic explorations through rock music were subtly present in the Saturday’s early performance. Personally, I believe, they are on the cusp of some sort of one-album-away-indie-mainstream-crossover-stardom. However, the point of this article is to recount, not hypothesize. Their performance on Saturday was amazing sonically, visually and for some, emotionally. Bradford Cox was sporting a blonde wig (my dad circa 1976), and Deerhunter’s music proved to be an amazing sphere of old and new, working through their psych productions, to the more delicate and catchy tracks, and then their chaotic intense moments left ears ringin. Their washes of sound, the drawn out songs, turned into a sustained drone piece in one instance. The atmosphere was fierce and intense. I was happy to be lost in the beautiful noise.
So then, we moved onto the Bakery just in time to see Kelpe who had a funky and dancey set. By using those two adjectives, I probably violated all kinds of music journalism codes. Then Le!f with Mess Kid came on next. The way the ballet/modern dance graduate interacted with the crowd, approaching fans and stripping were definitely highlights, which sort of shielded the slight mediocrity of Mess Kid.
Finally, following one of the longest nights in the history of music ever, it was time for Jon Hopkins. The UK Producer connected his laptop to the projector (a+ visual club) and started Ableton. He had an assortment of midi controllers, and distortion modules, it was hard to guess what he would start with. He teased us with ‘Open Eye Signal’ and then quickly changed to ‘Abandon Window’. The majority of his set was new stuff off his 2013 debut Immunity with older tunes here and there. He knew how to tease the crowds with favourites.
Overall, the 'choose-your-own-festival' was extremely well publicized, and advertised over social media, which is attributable to its success. A really long night, but it was well worth it. Looking forward to whatever else Life is Noise has in store for us.