Deerhoof Phoenix, Toronto ON June 16

Deerhoof Phoenix, Toronto ON June 16
From a number of angles, Deerhoof's headlining set at the Phoenix seemed more "work in progress" than finished product. The band's sound mix changed repeatedly for the first half of the set: Ed Rodriguez's guitar lines were all but missing for the bulk of the show's beginning, and Satomi Matsuzaki's bass was overpowering for the last part of the main set. Even the band seemed a little off-kilter at times: "Buck and Judy" was missing its on-record oomph, while Deerhoof Vs. Evil single "The Merry Barracks" failed to make impact at its slowed-down pace, despite drummer Greg Saunier's emphatic fills. The show came together nicely near the end, beginning with set highlight "Qui Dorm, Només Somia," and continuing through well-played renditions of "I Did Crimes for You," "C," "Milkman" and "Perfect Me," but it wasn't the set-long perfection you would expect from the experimental pop veterans.