Bernard Haitink and Bruckner
Composers Concordance at St. Augustine's

Deer Tick at Webster Hall

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Edit: Another guest post, this time from Brian, who saw Deer Tick while I was wasting time out in NJ, watching the Giants lay an egg against the Eagles. (Yes, I like football.)

Sunday nights should mostly be for unwinding with home-cooked meals, a glass of wine or two, and a healthy amount of TV (usually HBO). However, it's sometimes nice to mix things up with a good show, and Providence's Deer Tick was closing out their fall tour with a show at Webster Hall.

After a bluesy, twenty-minute set from Thomas Hardy, California's Guards came on and opened with "Don't Wake the Dead" and "Crystal Ball." Guards have a great sound, courtesy of some serious talent: there's a 60's wall of sound that accompanies their songs, to the point where each one feels like it's being cut somewhat short. I found myself yearning for just one more chorus. 
Finally, at around 10:30, Deer Tick took the stage. Now, there are some bands that just like to play straight up rock n' roll, and Deer Tick is one of them. They have a very American sound - a combination of punk, folk and blues - and the show was exactly what you would expect from an American Rock Concert: loud, heavy guitars, chord-shredding vocals, all with a good beat you can dance to.
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Deer Tick makes it pretty plain in their songs and in their shows that they like to get fucked up, and it actually became a recurring theme throughout the night. There was a giant (like, 40-inch) bottle of wine the band passed around (the bottle was later used to smash a guitar), McCauley at one point opened a beer bottle with his mouth and spit the cap into the crowd, and cups of beer were continuously flung by the audience at the stage and at themselves. Everyone loved it.

The middle of the show lost some momentum when McCauley sang, "some pussy singer/songwriter bullshit" solo. Things picked up with covers like Nirvana's "Something in the Way" and John Lennon's "Mother" - I was literally expecting to see McCauley start hacking up chunks of his vocal chords. 
The crowd got into it a little, but I think the fact that it was late on Sunday night left everyone feeling reserved. If this were a Thursday or Friday show, I guarantee things would have gotten a lot more loose and/or broken. As a result, the instrument-smashing, all-hands-on-deck encore of "Let's All Go to the Bar" was more of a spectacle for the audience, with everyone staring at the mayhem on stage with "Holy Shit!" expressions on their faces.
Although the "Let's get wasted," rep is becoming somewhat of a schtick for these guys, at least their fans know what to expect. They want to leave with their ears ringing, Blood Alcohol Content well over the legal limit, and smiles on their faces. Deer Tick are self-proclaimed full grown men who act like kids. Nothing wrong with that.
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