November 7, 2017

Deer Tick Brings the House Down With a Double Set Performance 

deertick_photocredlaurapartain_nightmair creative file photo

Rhode Island natives Deer Tick performed at the Rickshaw Theatre this Friday. Promoting their new self-titled album, Deer Tick split their set into two parts, an acoustic and an electric set. And they brought the house down performing to an enormous sold-out crowd.

Opening the show was Jena Friedman. A stand-up comedian. I thought it was an odd choice and her performance didn’t do much to get the crowd ready for Deer Tick. But she battled with the unruly crowd and squeezed out a few laughs from the Vancouver audience.

Split into the volumes, Deer Tick’s new album has, an electric and an acoustic volume. So that is how they broke up their concert, performing their acoustic songs first and electric songs second.

The band kept their acoustic set upbeat and warm, opening their acoustic set was the feel-good ‘Sea of Clouds’ which endeared the crowd to the band and united everyone in the crowd.

Keeping the down-home spirit going and performing a song that took all their energy and shot it out into the crowd, Deer Tick performed ‘Hope is Big’ which is one of my favourites off the new album. Ian O’Neil’s vocal performance on this one is raw, and the band’s sound is warm and peaceful. It was great to see live.

Bringing down the mood for just a little bit Deer Tick played a rendition of ‘Baltimore Blues.’ While the lyrics of this particular song didn’t lift any one’s spirits, the band kept plugging through the song with a hard-knuckled endurance. The Acoustic set doesn’t make me want to dance, but it does make me feel good enough to sway back and forth.

On the second to last song of Deer Tick’s acoustic set the band played ‘Only Love.’ A slow build of a song whose verses sound mournful but whose chorus explodes into a climax of loud love, which was very appropriate for the penultimate song because the very last song was one long crescendo.

Mange, a song from the ‘Black Dirt Session’ brought Deer Tick’s acoustic set home. It started with an extended jam. A loose performance of the song with some stage dancing and then the band slowly built the song up until each band member performed solo’s to end their part of the set, to the thunderous cheers and applause of the crowd, obviously feeling a strong mix of emotions from each song.

Deer Tick pushed the limits of what could be done on the stage of The Rickshaw. By splitting up the show, they allowed themselves the opportunity to excel in two musical forms. A big band country band and a tighter alt-rock band.

The behemoth crowd waited the 15 long minute intermission between the two sets, then an appearance from Jena Friedman who was such a trooper, before Deer Tick took the stage once again.

The second set was alright, they weren’t matching the magic of the first set, but the band was performing solidly. That is until they paid ‘The Bump.’ For those who don’t know, ‘The Bump’ is a song off of Deer Tick’s fourth album ‘Divine Providence, ’ and it is pure Rock N’ Roll attitude. And it did its job, reenergizing the crowd and the band.

From this point, the band slowed their performance down, playing ‘Easy’ and ’20 Miles’ and ’Now it’s Your Turn’ back to back to back. The crowd appreciated the songs though because ’20 miles’ was a crowd favourite and ‘Now It’s Your Turn’ had some beautiful guitar solos.

After a couple of slow songs, their was a mood change in the concert hall when they played a cover of the South Park theme song and then jumped into a performance of ‘It’s a Whale’ which they played at a blindingly fast pace. Then they went into a performance of ‘Main Street’ and ’These Old Shoes’ crowd favourites.

Ending the show on a peaceful note, the band’s last song was ‘Your Are My Sunshine’ which they played before leaving the stage for the last time.

Check out Deer Tick live performance of Don’t Hurt below

written by Conor Graham
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