It was "Ring Around the Rosie," "London Bridge" and crowd surfing with a fierce, fun 14-piece band playing wildly pulsing, upbeat electronic music on the best sound system you'd ever want. Oh, and there was some alcohol. In short, Dan Deacon's show was the the best birthday party you'd ever want to attend, without the balloons or cake and without a birthday boy or girl, but with Dan Deacon as the party dad.
Here is my time-lapse of the entire concert.
You can also hear the entire concert here along with an interview.
Dan Deacon is an unassuming anti-rock star. He is part magician (he plays music and you have no idea how he's making it happen), and a clever conductor and composer.
His latest CD, and the music performed last night new and old, is the musical equivalent of Frankenstein: Electronic sounds given a second life by a multitalented ensemble of electronic musicians, marimba players, percussionists and guitarists.
On top of it all, Dan Deacon is a "dad" to a thankful bunch of music lovers looking to have fun and play nice with their neighbors. From placing their hands on the heads of whoever is next to them, to forming a bridge of people that extended from the floor of the 9:30 club to the balcony, to dance contests where everybody is a winner.
I'm not sure how he does it. Some of it has to do with the kind of people who come willingly to be performers, not observers. Case in point: The audience was already waving their arms, and singing along to the house music, before the concert had even started. This included songs like "Another Night" by Real McCoy, "Bulls On Parade" by Rage Against the Machine, "Kissed by a Rose" by Seal, "Hast" by Rammstein, "What's Up?" by 4 Non Blondes, Enya's "Only Time" and "No Rain" by Blind Melon. It was clear before Dan Deacon had set foot on stage that this crowd was ready to have fun.
But there is something more to all this than a group of people playing and dancing together. I think it has something to do with forming a sort of community in an age that is characterized by the myth of individuality. Sure, we wear our earbuds and listen to music quietly on our own. But the desire for contact and just plain fun is as present as ever. It just takes a good, down-to-earth dad to get the party started.