On yet another rainy late-winter night in Nashville, Deerhunter welcomed us into the Cannery Ballroom for an intense sonic experience. Before coming on stage, the scene was set with half an hour of ambient noise that was at times beautiful and at times downright unsettling, increasing the crowd’s tense anticipation of the long-beloved group. Finally coming out, the band struck the opening chords of “Cryptograms” and began a show that felt like a non-stop wall of psychedelic sound. Deerhunter expertly provided a crowd of old fans and new with a few classic favorites like “Helicopter” dispersed seamlessly throughout a showcase of some great newer tunes, such as the eclectic “Element” and the dreamy “What Happens to People?”, proving along the way that the group clearly still has what it takes to energize a crowd 12 years after the release of their debut album.
This show had the feel of an experienced band reliving its glory days, and taking us right back there with them. Lead singer and guitarist Bradford Cox kept the long show incredibly energetic, maintaining a fantastic punk energy throughout even the slower moments and hardly allowing even a moment’s silence in the band’s enormously powerful sound. After a brief foray offstage, the band returned to rock a long four-song encore including fan favorite “Agoraphobia.” The show closed with Cox screaming his heart out to harder jam “Monomania” and running out into the crowd to great his fans. Deerhunter’s performance was an absolute power trip of ambient punk noise from a group proving that while they may have come a long way, their journey is far from over.
Written by Claire Chandler
Photography by Alexandra Cole