Green Stage, Union Park, Chicago IL, July 20

Photo: Ellie Pritts

BY Stephen CarlickPublished Jul 21, 2014

Even as only a low-end thrum announced their set, Deafheaven singer George Clarke was already dramatically vogueing and gesturing, seemingly baiting the crowd for the onslaught to come. A muddy mix made the beginning of "Dream House" a bit underwhelming, but by the song's midway breakdown, the band was in full force, Clarke's howls and the drummer's fills adding emphasis to the band's rhythmic strengths. "His outfit is magnificent," one crowd member was overheard saying of singer's dour button-up look, which he played up with his fashionista posing.

The band used guitar interlude "Irresistible" as an interlude, and it was piped in rather than performed, a seemingly odd choice until the track slowly faded and they ripped into "Sunbather." The played a brand new track, "From the Kettle Onto the Coil" — surely the forthcoming single from Adult Swim's 2014 Singles Series — and it was classic Deafheaven, aside from an increased penchant for guitar melodicism: Gigantic riff bridges led into stomping groove breakdowns and back again through. Clarke laid himself into the crowd during the quiet opening of Roads to Judah track "Unrequited" just in time for the band to come in heavy on the song's intro, shrieking as the crowd heaved him around in celebration.

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