Noise Pop: Atlas Sound
A one man band this tour, Bradford Cox put on an impressive set on the fifth night of SF’s annual music festival. Playing last year’s opening night at the Mezzanine with Deerhunter, Cox described it as, “One of those shows where everything was going really good at first and then things got kind of weird.” I was there and it was a great show, but the guys have a habit of droning live and losing track of time. The crowd was at one moment totally into it and after some heavy drone half the audience left. Not me though, I could listen to Deerhunter reverb for hours. Cox knows he’s not the iconic broody showman, admitting, “I wish I could walk up here and play and then leave with a wave, and be all epic and mysterious.” While his music is filled with dark longing, he is ever the extrovert performer and happily interacts with the crowd all night.
Cox performed songs mostly from last year’s awesome <i>Logos</i>, including a stripped down version of “Walkabout.” “Shelia” sounded very close to the album version and it showcased how adept Cox really is with looping and sampling. The guy is an absolute master at sampling and looping. It was apparent that hours were spent practicing with the instruments and recording devices. And his ability to recreate his dense and textured sound by himself is surprising.
He had the Neil Young-esque harmonica around his neck which added texture to many of the songs. Indulging us with a new Deerhunter song that “he was not supposed to be playing without his bandmates,” Cox seemed like he just wanted to stick around and play longer. His encore of “Kid Klimax,” “Criminals,” and “Quarantined” from his debut brought a loud ovation from the audience. And still, we all just wanted the show to go on.
by Jeff Bracco