Concert Review: Deerhunter, Kurt Vile, K-Holes @ Royale (8/13/10)


Bands: K-Holes/Kurt Vile/Deerhunter
Date:  Friday, August 13, 2010
Venue: Royale (Boston, MA)

Act One– K-Holes – I liked these guys and girls a good amount better this time around than on the Rocks Off NYC cruise concert. Jack Hines and crew rocked out what I now term horror punk. They play with a certain mystique that really comes out when the trumpet is on full blast and when the lady vocalist sings and utilizes the shaker. When Hines sung, I couldn’t help but think of We Did Not Know era Black Lips…like on “Swamp Fires.” Other songs definitely played were “Native Tongues,” “Step N Fetch It,” and “The Gutter.”

Chris– Glen speaks the truth here. K-Holes are Kickass! They have a simple vibe to them, but present themselves in a very solemn, quiet manner that draws you in and never lets you go. Jack Hines’ frenetic guitar playing and Cole-like screaming demonstrate that his Black Lips roots are still evident.

Act TwoKurt Vile and the Violators – True story: Kurt was boring and musically draggy in July when he headlined at Harpers Ferry. At that time, it seemed like him and the other guitarist were going heavy on the effects and slacking mightily on replicating some of their best recorded songs. This time, with the crucial assistance of a third guitar player, songs like “Freeway” (the best number these guys cranked out) and “Overnite Religion” bordered on greatness. Whatever they didn’t have at the Harpers Ferry gig, they seemed to have at the Royale on this night. They might have even overstayed their welcome…the sound guys at stage left frantically signaled “ONE MORE AND THAT’S IT” after about thirty or forty minutes of playing. I’m pretty much all set with seeing Vile headline for a while (a year, at least), but I wouldn’t be opposed to catching him and crew again as an opener.

Chris– With the “technical difficulties” omitted I began to notice the “Americana” elements of Vile’s music, I had missed before. I did gather some Peter Framptonish vibes. A noisy Frampton comin’ alive, if you will. Still, not exactly my cup of tea, but I did enjoy myself this time around.

Act ThreeDeerhunter – Deerhunter fans seem to be a real loyal and passionate bunch. Maybe that’s why Bradford, Lockett, Moses, and Josh keep coming back. Bradford said the band arrived late…which explains their five minute sound-check. As far as sound-checks go, this one was as informative as can be. Bradford explained the origin of the various instruments that compose the drum set while Moses tested them out. Early on in the set there existed some technical difficulties that I couldn’t even notice. The sound guys seemed pretty convinced that something was wrong AND one of them even unplugged Josh’s bass by accident while trying to remedy the situation. Hehe. His bass sounded kind of distorted the entire night which worked well 90% of the time, but at times felt a tidbit random. At any rate, Deerhunter played an excellent set albeit a short one. I’d say they played about ten songs at maximum; quantitatively it felt like an opening act kind of set, but qualitative it had no shortage in glory. Songs that stuck out to me were Microcastle gems “Never Stops” and “Nothing Ever Happened,” Rainwater Cassette Exchange EP tune “Rainwater Cassette Exchange” and, of course, “Fluorescent Grey” from their EP of the same name. It was enjoyable to see the crowd react positively to the band throughout and me and my pals had a fun time ourselves.

Chris: Of course, one of the most mesmerizing bands out there today. I really dug the quiet, mellow nature of their performance and how at any moment a violent jolt of noise could send your head spinning into ambient Heaven. With Deer, there is never a dull moment and so it always feels like the set is shorter than it seems. They played for a good hour and they played a fairly long time before as an opening act, yet at both shows, it felt rushed… well because it was! Not by the band, but time constraints for stupid events that get in the way of my concerts! But, seriously, with most bands like Deerhunter, I would get bored real soon, but these guys keep you amazed and entertained the whole time. My favorite was definitely “Fluorescent Grey.” Overall, I thought it was great, but I feel like I have yet to see that phenominal Deerhunter show that I will one day tell someone else’s grand kids about until I am informed by a copper that I am causing a disturbance and have to be removed from the Little League game. I can’t wait to see them in October, until then, I will have to wait PATIENTLY PATIENTLY…

Set list: From though I could have sworn they played “Revival” and others.

Hazel St.
Never Stops
Rainwater Cassette Exchange
Wash Off
Fluorescent Grey
Nothing Ever Happened

Grade: A/A-

2 thoughts on “Concert Review: Deerhunter, Kurt Vile, K-Holes @ Royale (8/13/10)”

  1. Hope that they’ve got all the issues sorted out this time around. I’m bummed I’ll be missing them again but Chris, I can tell you that I had that epic show experience back in 2007 when they played the new ICA building. That was right after Crypotgrams and they tore the roof off that place.

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