Deerhunter at Williamsburg Music Hall for the “Gummy Awards”
When I first saw the new lineup to go with this slightly more loping live Deerhunter, I was knee-jerkingly skeptical. This was during the summer, at McCarren pool. Maybe it was the cheerleader outfit or the fire engine red Stratocaster that seemed gimmicky, because it couldn’t have been her confident performance, but I wasn’t ready to see Whitney Petty in place of Colin Mee. Finally I came upon my conclusion, alluded to above, that Deerhunter approached middle age sometime during the intermission between departure of their former guitarist and the release of Microcastle. This was not their new guitarist’s fault. If anything, she seemed the most ready to hop around, ending both sets I’ve seen her play with a headstand.
But the boys didn’t seem to want to play last summer. Even musically, there wasn’t really an effort to replicate the nuanced textures of their recently leaked album, so much as a rote reproduction of chord changes and softly reverbed vocals. It was really hot out, after all.
Last night, it looked as if Bradford Cox may have borrowed Petty’s red guitar, and that they’d refined the wash of guitar chords they’d since played on both a headlining tour and as an opener for Trent Reznor.
Still, I couldn’t help wondering if the edge had departed with their last lineup. It was, after all, Colin Mee who’d been the butt (or the face) of Bradford Cox’s blow job episode, a gimmick of a much more excessive order than either a cheerleader outfit or even the strange faceplant Cox landed into Petty’s