Dan Deacon

South by Southwest Aftershots

Dan Deacon

Beauty Bar Backyard, March 15

I went into Dan Deacon's third or fourth South by Southwest set on Thursday night under the impression that he's a visionary in the field of electronic experimentation and left with the understanding that he's really a party act. That's not a bad thing, of course. I had more fun at Deacon's capacity set than at any of those I attended this year. Two songs in, Deacon, who plays on the same level as the audience rather than elevated onstage, declared a dance contest and instructed the audience to form a large circle. Deacon then issued an incisive set of instructions at the outset of the contest: "Rule Number One: Sassy as fuck at all times! Rule Number Two: Dancers must select the next dancers to compete! Rule Number Three: No cowards! Rule Number Four: Stop thinking SXSW is a clusterfuck and maybe next year it won't be!" While the music was enjoyable – all tweaked-out vocals, thundering live drums, and smudgy Blade Runner-esque synths – it was eminently forgettable. Fitting since most of those in attendance probably didn't remember much of anything the next day.

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