SHOW REVIEW: Deerhoof at the Echoplex – 1/29/11

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Last night Deerhoof murdered at the Echoplex.

I’ve never seen the band perform live before, so I didn’t know what to expect as three rock-band-lookin’ dudes and the petite, eccentric Satomi took the stage. A quick scan revealed a twelve string and a baby-sized guitar (what do I know), a good amount of sparkly eye makeup, and a drum set stage left, even with the other bandmates. It was a sort of bizarre arrangement, but would later make sense as the four musicians played back and forth with one another, not missing a beat.

This is probably what blew my mind most about this show. Deerhoof is all about the offbeats. They don’t give a fuck when you think the next note should come in. It’s expertly arranged, but never what you expect. You can bob your head along to the beat, but to really get it right you’ve got to have these songs as expertly memorized as, well, the experts themselves. The effect is watching four people play and sing as if stemming from one brain of musical impulses.

The show consisted of a selection of songs across their extensive discography, although the majority was from 2008’s Offend Maggie and their new album Deerhoof vs. Evil. The crowd was receptive to just about every song, with a nucleus at the front jumping and fist pounding to all the hits.
Greg Saunier, the pseudo-spokesman for the group (and Jim Carrey doubleganger), added some comic relief with a few awkwardly phrased commentaries and thank you-s. Of course Matsuzaki’s general adorable-ness stole the show, as she danced about in what was possibly a 6-year-old’s wardrobe.

The set ended with not one, not two, but three (albeit short) encores. Not sure how that kept happening… but we were all eager to welcome the band back out on stage time and time again. I’ll be seeing Deerhoof the next time they’re in town, for sure, and I recommend you get to one of their shows if you can.

Setlist
Dummy Discards A Heart
The Tears and Mysic of Love
Fresh Born
Eaguru Guru
O’Malley Former Underdog
Come See the Duck
The Merry Barracks
Hey I Can
Must Fight
Qui dorm, només somia
Behold a Marvel in the Darkness
Almost Everyone, Almost Always
Milk Man
Desapareceré
The Perfect Me
Encore 1
Super Dupe Rescue Heads
I Did Crimes For You
Encore 2
No One Asked to Dance
Basketball Get Your Groove Back
Encore 3
Buck and Judy

Reviewed by Ari Mygatt

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