Although he's admittedly not a mathematician, Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier calculated that the audience at last night’s Grog Shop concert was the largest the band has played for in Cleveland.
Their spastic, experimental rock was the highlight of the three-band bill, which also featured the Italian minimalist rock trio Father Murphy and the synth-pop duo Xiu Xiu, who also helped close the night during Deerhoof’s second encore.
Deerhoof kept to the original score on the stuttering, playful “Panda Panda Panda” (where singer-bassist Satomi Matsuzaki dropped her instrument and fluttered across the stage like a cheerleader at a pep rally) and “Basket Ball Get Your Groove Back.”
On songs like “Desapareceré,” the band wandered from the album versions. Satomi would hold the foundation, while guitarists Ed Rodriguez and John Dieterich were free to explore. Saunier’s epileptic drum work moulded these vamps, giving them funky, jazzy definitions.
Deerhoof debuted a new song, which Saunier said was not supposed to be out until today, though he didn’t say its name. It was typical Deerhoof format, similar to “Running Thoughts” with a pop-rock sound offset by their standard raucous chorus.
They also covered The Troggs’ “With a Girl Like You,” where Saunier played guitar and sang. It was done more in the vein of Dave Sitek's cover version found on the Dark Was the Night compilation than the original Troggs cut.
Deerhoof did a great job with dynamics during their performance, moving gracefully from delicate to abrasive, quiet to loud. These flourishes embellish on the recorded versions of the songs, offering a slightly different perspective and a look at the band’s talent without being showy. —Adam Burroughs
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