Dan Deacon with Golden-Axe at Dux Live

Dan Deacon at Dux Live
Dan Deacon at Dux Live
Baltimore, Maryland based electronic performance artist Dan Deacon has been touring New Zealand for the past week as a lead-up to the magnificent Camp A Low Hum festival in Wainuiomata next weekend, followed around the country by Auckland-based DIY synth-nuttos Golden-Axe.
Golden-Axe at Dux Live
Golden-Axe at Dux Live
Golden-Axehave been quite visible in past year, with their latest release ‘Liquid Bacon’ and accompanying tours up and down the country receiving praise. Monday’s performance was one of their best; the duo costumed as usual in day-glo outfits adorned with CD’s, natty wigs and surgical masks. They sounded terrific, pushing fuzzy synthesizers and distorted vocals through the Dux’s wonderful PA system to a small but intrigued crowd.Multi-Instrumentalist Deacon – who had previously enticed crowds as a solo performer in New Zealand back in 2009, is this time accompanied by an ensemble that includes two additional keyboardists and the thrilling sight of two syncopated drummers (which Deacon himself christened ‘Sushi Boy’ and ‘Pancake Boy’ during the show).

Although Deacon has spent much of the past year producing contemporary classical pieces (such as ‘Ghostbuster Cook: Origin of the Riddler’ – a piece he scored for New York quartet So Percussion), his Christchurch show displayed many of his signature traits. Electric, pulsing and dance-orientated songs, silly high-pitched vocals with addictive melodies and of course the one element that defines a Dan Deacon show – heavy audience participation.

Crowd Dancing at Dux Live
Crowd Dancing at Dux Live
After coercing 2nd-level crowd dwellers down to the ample ground-floor space he set about creating a dance circle to entice the revellers out of their shells. Deacon maintained this approach through-out the night, leading the crowd through dance moves and creating formations in, about and even outside the venue as his talented band flew through a driven, punch set of songs which pulled from the likes of the critically acclaimed ‘Bromst’ [2009] and ‘Spiderman of the Rings’ [2007] albums.
Deacon sets a high-water mark for performance. His infectious positive enthusiasm, catchy songs and accomplished, snappy live band really created a memorable, engaging evening – and I for one cannot wait to see his larger scale festival show. I thoroughly recommend catching one of his shows, or checking out the superb ‘Bromst’ – one of my favourite releases from the past few years.
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