Dan Deacon could be the ideal Noise Pop artist

Dan-Deacon-1_optPhotos by Pedro Paredes // Written by Mike Frash //

Dan Deacon with Running in the Fog, Blackout Make Out, Dutty Wilderness //
The Chapel – San Francisco
February 28th, 2015 //

Dan Deacon might be the ideal Noise Pop artist, both in regard to the Bay Area festival and the subgenre at large. Layer upon insane layer of sound interprets into harmonious infectiousness, a feat that hints at an intersection of mathematical and creative genius. The guy takes all sorts of frequencies and cross sections of genre elements and composes it all together into a crescendo of weird, atypical pop. And by weird, I mean the very good kind of weird.

His “best camp councilor ever” routine and crowd control mindshare through mid-show engagement games didn’t work best in the confined space of this Saturday night Noise Pop show. The “follow the leader dancer games” had Saturday night revelers jumping into the leader circle out of turn, but it didn’t matter much as Deacon sent vibes out in every direction via his finger-maestro “the claw” move.


The space restrictions of The Chapel allowed Deacon to focus more on delivering wondrous live versions of songs from his new album Gliss Riffer, which shined brightly throughout the evening. “Feel the Lightning” is a trojan horse synth-pop vehicle that will attract new fans to Deacon in coming months. It worked wonders toward the end of the ecstatic set.

There was some mild crowd surfing in the pit area of the venue, which hints at Deacon’s punk crossover abilities. There was one crowd engagement exercise that really worked though — show goers were invited to dance on the stage, then were instructed to go back into the audience via a methodical, crowd-surfing, rebirthing process. Once that was done, Deacon ironically put a moratorium on crowd surfing “because I don’t like being kicked in the face.”

One of the toughest things to do in the world of electronic music is to sound organic, to imbue a sense of heart into the digitized nature of ones and zeroes. The Baltimore native accomplishes this through his hilarious and improvisational free-form, stand-up comedy, which thrives on wandering non sequiturs. And he mirrors this by adapting his insane-train of sound to meet and exceed the energy in the room. The “America” suite finished off the show with an extended doom metal quality that gave a sense that no aesthetic boundaries can contain Deacon’s sense of musical exploration.