Dagon brings back a report from the field. Check out his boozy adventures seeing Deafheaven in São Paulo
July 10th. A slow Sunday afternoon drags by while I wait, laying in bed. It was the first week in quite some time where I’ve had a regular work schedule, and there was a considerable amount of exhaustion still at play. I drank 2 cups of espresso, grabbed a random black T and walked out the door. The plan was to ride the subway and then walk a few minutes to the venue to see Deafheaven play.
It is the coldest month of a harsh Brazilian winter. I get out of the subway in the 25º C (77º F) weather to calmly make my way towards Clash Club. I have Blood Orange‘s latest LP Freetown Sound on my headphones. I figured something entirely different from what was about to come would be nice. The record is great, by the way, so check it out whenever you crave a change of pace.
I reached the venue a bit earlier than the show was supposed to start, but a lot of people were already there before me. The crowd outside was unsurprisingly young. With the exception of the gentleman sporting a silver hair and a Mayhem T-shirt, almost everyone looked like they were in their early 20s. Being completely alone, I decided to have a few drinks before the show. Right next door there was a really small bar with a TV airing the final Eurocopa game. This was it.
I ended up watching the entire game, and miss out on opening band Nvblado. Regret. I can’t really draw an accurate comparison, but the pacing and energy is a bit like Neurosis but with an entirely different sound, blending some brasilidades and relying on reverb instead of distortion. Get acquainted below, stab the like button here.
Inside, another swarm of millenials. While the age distribution was rather uniform, the diversity of styles was huge. I don’t recall where I read it, but someone defined it perfectly by saying “the entire internet was there”. Band shirts ranged from Repulsion to Odd Future; battle vest warriors stood side by side with hipsters and sneakerheads waiting in anticipation for the main act. Another show was due before them, and E A Terra Nunca Me Pareceu Tão Distante took the stage to deliver a great set.
Their grandiose, instrumental post-rock started slow and melodic, but every time their songs escalated people went nuts. It was extremely hard to not feel immersed in the experience. I am no stranger to music like this, as I’m a fan of zoning out to instrumental tunes, but hearing it live is quite enthralling. I zoned out even harder.
Listen to their latest release Medo de Tentar | Medo de Morrer below, and like their Facebook page right here.
In the few minutes that took place between bands – and it was only a few, shoutout to Monkeybuzz for promoting a great and organized event – attendance doubled. It was packed. People were screaming. They wanted the wizard. He came through.
From the moment acclaimed metal vocalist George Clarke got up on the stage right to the moment he left, every set of eyeballs or lenses were turned to him. Remember when Jess Rechsteiner said he was a great frontman? Well, she was absolutely right. Dressed in all black in a stage painted by red lights, he was the most energetic member of the band from the start. He touched people’s hands, shrieked “BRASIL!” and said, in a voice deeper than I anticipated, “We are Deafheaven, and this is ‘Brought To The Water'”.
The band played New Bermuda in its entirety, followed by “Sunbather” and “Dream House” from Sunbather. Clarke kept moving throughout the entire set, moving his hands like a deranged maestro, headbanging, dancing (!) and interacting with the crowd, which always responded with the same energy. On the last two songs, band members stage dived, people climbed the stage to sing with them,
There is lots of video footage of the concert on YouTube, like the great video shot by Rodolfo Yuzo above, but unfortunately for you and fortunately for everyone that was there, none of it really lives up to the experience. The sound was pristine and the band played extremely tight. It was comparable to when I saw Obituary play in my hometown – albeit completely different bands, they both seeemed to be deeply enjoying themselves. Everybody left the room with a huge grin on their faces.
Deaf and slightly drunk, I rode the subway home, with a huge grin myself.