Deafheaven - Pyramid Scheme Oct 1- 2014

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Deafheaven - Pyramid Scheme Oct 1- 2014

Post by ATARI »

Drove up an hour and a half from Indiana to Grand Rapids MI to attend - Sunbather was one of my favorite albums of 2013, although I hadn't actually heard it or listened to it until January of this year - regardless to say though i was quite excited for this show, as this was the first chance to have seen them (unfortunately, I missed them when they came through town earlier in the year with Between the Buried and Me, and Pallbearer, which all would have made for a fantastic show). Grand Rapids is a decent city, the venue was easy to find. I wasn't surprised at the amount of poorly groomed and smelly hipsters attending the show; most of which seemed harmless.

There are two opening acts, the first of which was called Dakma. I overheard that their "bassist was in class in Detroit," so it was just a drummer, guitarist and female vocalist. These young ruffians, who I estimate were about an average age of 22, were essentially a "deafheaven light," but without any sort of rhyme or reason to their sognwriting. All the songs followed the same pattern, and I don't think their baby-faced guitarist moved durnig the entire four-song set. The drummer was quite talented, and definitely could stand to have been working with a better band. Vocalist was okay, but nothing particularly interesting or noteworthy that I can recall. Overall, the set was tolerable after finishing my first tallboy

The second act was entitled SAPPHIC, which was a two-person sort of shoegaze/doom metal kind of band. The band featured a guitarist/vocalist who although he attempted to sing, never actually seemed to reach any sort of distiugishable notes or melody. The drummer was a gender-ambigous, long-haired, sharp chinned individual, and he or she was okay, but the first band's drummer clearly put her or she to shame. Likewise, about 5 or 6 songs were played, and almost all were just mere tolerable, although there was a song in the middle that was a completely different sound - sort of an ambient and melodic shoegaze piece that featured maracas that was actually quite good. They managed to get a good grove going during this song, and then proceeded to shit all over it with their next disjointed doom piece.

Fortunately, the time between sets was about 15 minutes; and the staff cleared the stage and members of Deafheaven came out and starting soundtesting for the next 25 minutes. I had managed to work my way towards the front slowly, although until the end of SAPPHIC's set, this was a particularly easy task as the floor was about 1/4 filled of a 200-300 capacity. Eventually between soundtest rifts and some really sweet double-bass work from their drummer, the lights dimmed and Deafheaven started their set.

They opened with Beach House, and the audience instantly became more attentive that they had previously been during the first two bands. The mix was a little messy at first, but by the time that Clark's vocals came in during the first lyrical passage, the mix ended up working out quite well. Moving around a little bit towards the center helped, but the mix was quite guitar heavy, and clear on the drums. Vocals were undermixed, even more so than on the album, but there was enough to still enjoy the mix.

After the end of Beach House, an audio recording of one of the two guitar halves of irresitable played, and then suddenly stopped and the band jumped into Sunbather - the best track from the album. Likewise, it was a predictably good and strong set, although due to being in Michigan, a mosh-pit formed in the middle of the crowd and a few assholes ended up shoving the people standing beside me over, including some 5' tall girl who clearly had only come because her boyfriend dragged her along. Great job assholes. The song was still great, although my enjoyment was definitely diminished due to the crowd. The guitar cut out a bit during one of the softer passages and the tech struggled a bit.

They played their new recently released, From the Kettle Unto the Coil; I wasn't a huge fan of it at first but it had since grown on me. Once again, killed it live. Crowd remained respectful during this track. They followed with The Pecan Tree, which ended up being my favorite from the set. They extended the ending jam from the album, and it kept to its shoegazy-roots with a hypnotizing intensity. People started crowdsurfing during the first part on the song, and someone got their glasses kicked in

They closed with Unrequited, and likewise killed it and brought house down. During the last half of the song, people were starting to run up on stage, through the band members and jump into the crowd - and by people I mean the same 3 assholes over and over again. Some fat guy ran up and almost knocked over Clarke, as well as managing to unplug the bass guitar's hookup, and the guy standing in front of me had to plug it back in for him. The bassist and guitarist on my side (not Kerry) gave each other a look as if to say "fucking hipsters." They ended the set and the vocalist left the stage immediately, definitely pissed about people running through the show. The other members stuck around a bit and high fived a few people, but all were vacated from the stage after about a minute.

Overall, Deafheaven put on a fantastic show; great energy on stage and great energy in the crowd. It's just a shame a few assholes decided to come along for the ride and fuck it up for other people.

Deafheaven setlist;
Beach House
From the Kettle Unto the Coil
The Pecan Tree

no encore was performed. Didn't get a chance to stop by the merch table because I had to drive back home
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Re: Deafheaven - Pyramid Scheme Oct 1- 2014

Post by hellboy »

Thanks for the review ATARI. I'm not a massive fan of the band, but would definitely check them out if they every toured my town.
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Re: Deafheaven - Pyramid Scheme Oct 1- 2014

Post by basejumper »

Good review. Thanks
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Re: Deafheaven - Pyramid Scheme Oct 1- 2014

Post by UndKeineZwEier »

Sounds sweeney.

They were playing a show not too far from here a few weeks ago, but I didn't go.
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