I LOVE Battles. It doesn’t hurt that John Stanier (formerly of Helmet) is one of my favorite rock drummers. The experimental rock (dare I say) Supergroup need a drummer of his caliber to keep up with the spastic loops and samples being thrown into the mix. Stand up, walk around, dance, run circles around the theatre; but don’t sit down. Battles provides the back drop music for productivity. Imagine scores of Santa’s elves jacked up on speed, frantically making all the world’s toys two days before Christmas. They’d all be listening to Battles.
Of the performances that showcased visual achievements beyond my comprehension, Dan Deacon’s is not one. Dan could set up his equipment on his folding table in minutes. Hell, he could probably walk up to someone else’s equipment and blow your mind just as easily. The crowd’s not waiting patiently for him to perform their favorite song because Dan’s likely to play something he put together last night, and it might be the best thing they’ve ever heard. This is the second year I’ve gotten to see Dan Deacon at Moogfest and I hope he’s back next year.
There are as many reasons to love St. Vincent as there are people who are in love with Annie Clark. Clark’s dark lyrics floated warmly over spacey grooves accompanied by bouts of guitar sorcery worthy of Billy Corgan on Siamese Dream. The meticulousness that went into setting up was well worth the crisp sound they were able to deliver on one intricately arranged song after another. Two things are guaranteed: You’ll get your money’s worth and you’ll have a smile on your face from the warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
I had read mixed reviews about Passion Pit’s live performances – even watched some lackluster vocal performances by Michael Angelakos on Youtube. So, as much as I love Passion Pit, I was preparing for disappointment. Thankfully, my preparation was in vain. Angelakos seemed as comfortable as could be in keeping his frequently falsetto vocals strongly in the mix with a pleasant tone and pitch. The rest of the band was rock solid too; rendering driving beats and keyboard quirkiness whipped into a giant bowl of happy fun. There’s something about Passion Pit that makes you feel like a kid again, and between the music and freezing cold temperature it was impossible not to dance and have a good time.