review by RJ Cubarrubia
photos by Christopher Nelson
In Dan Deacon’s world, nothing is too bizarre. Bringing close to 11 members to accompany his signature skull staff onstage, the Baltimore DIY goofball brought beats, cat voices, a dance off, and a gauntlet to a sold out crowd at The Vera Project. Dan’s usual table of wires, electrical outlets, mixers, synths, etc. was enough to start its own industrial revolution while his populous backing band added percussion, synths, samples, and more with their own array of interesting instruments. As the crowd became more involved, Dan invited the audience to form a gigantic circle for a “Fancy Dance Off”; the rules were simple: “keep it fancy and sassy as fuck.” After seeing impressive moves, including a quality Thriller dance and an appearance by our very own Cyrus Despres, Dan proposed a really ridiculous idea: a gauntlet throughout the entire Vera Project, and I mean, the entire Vera Project: through the venue, up the stairs, around the outside, down the outside side stairs, in through the side door, and back into the venue with the first two people creating a tunnel and so forth. At first, there was confusion, but once our bizarre buddy from Baltimore clarified that “at some point, we will be the only people in this room playing to ourselves,” the senseless idea made perfect sense. After a long trek through the gauntlet, Dan closed out his set with a few more songs to an especially excited crowd. A Dan Deacon show isn’t just a show; it’s a circus of youthful dance energy full of fancy ass danceoffs (see video below) and large groups of people having fun that can be summed up in three words: best time ever.
Ok, you’ve waited for it and here it is: the danceoff: