Dan Deacon Richards on Richards, Vancouver BC January 21
Published Jan 26, 2008A word as superlative as "ultimate shouldnt be tossed around lightly, yet in Dan Deacons case, it seems entirely appropriate. The Baltimore artists show is truly one of extremes visually, aurally and socially making his current touring banner, the "Ultimate Reality Tour, anything but false advertising. The dates come in support of the Ultimate Reality DVD, a collaborative 40-minute film by Deacon and fellow Wham City citizen Jimmy Joe Roche, which was projected in its hallucinatory entirety before this Vancouver show. Described as a "dominant pansexual ubermyth, the digital opera visually manipulated two decades worth of Arnold Schwarzenegger clips to a musical underscore composed by Deacon and the live drum accompaniment of Videohippos Kevin OMeare and Ponytails Jeremy Hyman. With images of barbarians, terminators and a kindergarten cop flashing in brilliant neon, it became a hilarious, as well as sublime, piece of psychedelia one that pulsed with increasing intensity to modulating rhythms and oscillating synths, making for one sensory-overloading Rorschach test. But as ultimate as this was, the live solo set by Deacon that followed was even more so. Setting up a science experiment of electronics on the edge of the stage and below an illuminated green skull, Deacon played his spazzed-out electro jams from the floor, inviting a mass of sweaty bodies to create a rugby scrimmage around him. What then came was a set better described as a musical experience than a performance. Leading the crowd in an elaborate stretching routine, a full-on dance battle and the assembly of a human tunnel, the portly framed Deacon took extrovertism and audience participation to the extreme, soundtracking all the events to his widely praised album,Spiderman of the Rings, along with a few new tracks. And by the shows epic closer, "Wham City, Deacon had indeed created a heightened sense of reality and not to mention one unforgettable show.