Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Nov. 14, 2008
DeerhoofWaterloo Park, Nov. 8
"It's like Blonde Redhead meets ... Shellac?" a friend remarked halfway through Deerhoof's set. No doubt the San Franciscans' music generated its share of head-scratching, pigeonholing, and jokes, but that tag's most likely due to the groove they've found. Singer Satomi Matsuzaki hit the stage in a tiger suit as the band tore into "Basket Ball Get Your Groove Back," getting their art school ya-yas out before launching into meatier fare from latest disc Offend Maggie. New guitarist Ed Rodriguez added much-needed muscle and form, the perfect pump for octopus drummer Greg Saunier and bassist John Dieterich on the melodic/chaotic "Buck and Judy." Songs from The Runners Four and Friend Opportunity also showed up, but the quartet went back no further than that. Streamlining their present oeuvre has become a priority a decade into Deerhoof's career, and Saturday night, aided by crystalline sound, they proved perfectly comfortable being a rock & roll band, which may just be their strangest move yet.