Dan Deacon, MassArt Pozen Center, December 7, 2006
Full disclosure: when I heard that Dan Deacon was playing in Boston I got giddy and told everyone I knew. Deacon uses a CD player and primitive electronic equipment to create a catchy, distorted sound he describes as “the kind of music really cool six year-olds would make.” His songs have titles such as “Pizza Horse,” and “Moses Vs. Predator.”
After setting up his equipment as “Under the Sea” from The LittleMermaid played over the PA and before he began his set at MassArt’s Pozen Center last night, Dan Deacon wanted the audience to count, and he wanted them to do it creatively. He asked the crowd to count back from thirty to twenty in an annoyed, “passive-aggressive” tone of voice. The audience was then instructed to count from twenty to 10 silently, but while maintaining eye contact with a stranger. The countdown from 10 to zero was reserved for “a really sassy countdown, like (pause) Plucky Duck, and saxophones.”
After each of his songs, Deacon raised both hands in the air and cheered, with much of the crowd following suit. He told stories about “snacking hard” and policemen cutting deer in half with enormous knives. Deacon’s stage setup featured three lights of varying color and intensity, one of which was a blinking, neon green skull. The performance of “Big Big Big Big Big,” the single from his newest album Acorn Master, ended with Deacon on his knees belting out the song’s “I’m begging you please!” coda, and eventually racing up to an unused drum riser to strike a vaudeville-esque pose.
Deacon’s youthful, unbridled enthusiasm is the crux of his performance, and it’s completely infectious. He put on an unbelievably entertaining show, and potentially the best show by an electronic artist I’ve ever seen. If it sounds like I’m gushing, I am. I refuse to make an attempt at being impartial: everyone should be more like Dan Deacon.
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