Dan Deacon Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON, June 13

Dan Deacon Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON, June 13
Photo: Ian Gormely
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Having spent the better part of the year on tour with Animal Collective, Dan Deacon was anxious to play a set on his own terms. Setting up a laptop and pair of speakers on the stage, the Baltimore musician placed his array of effects pedals on a table in front, surrounding himself with the eager crowd while the Outhere Brothers' "Boom, Boom Boom" pounded out of the speakers. From the word "go" it was pandemonium, as Deacon whipped fans into a frenzy altering his voice overtop of backing tracks from his albums. Pop-culture referencing asides ("we can all pretend that the last season of Game of Thrones didn't suck...") masked his clear goal of manipulating the pumped up audience to do his bidding, inciting a dance competition and a hands-free conga line around the venue. Finding the sweet spot between the Evaporators and Rich Aucoin (minus the confetti) Deacon's sense of mischievous amusement and PMA were palpable: it's clear he gets as much out of his gigs as his fans do.