A little while ago I discovered Deafheaven, crazily enough, through hearing their song "Dream House" on XM radio. Wtf? I thought. No way are they playing something this atmospheric and lovely! But they were, and when I got to work I had to check out Deafheaven more, and fell even more in love. They're up there with Alcest for harshly beautiful, trance-inducing music. So when I found they were touring, I had to go. Even if it meant buying a ticket to Between The Buried And Me.
Deafheaven was the only band I really cared to see, so I didn't bother taking time off work, which meant I got to Empire around 8. Somehow, there was still a line to get in (doors were at 6:30, I think). The show was sold out. By the time I got in, Intronaut had started, and I had my dinner of black bean burger with them as background music. They made good background music - not very distracting, as they were far too slow to hold my interest. I woulda just preferred eating my dinner somewhere with less people. The place was packed.
I met a fellow Alcest fan and we talked for a bit before Deafheaven. Then, the San Francisco-based black metal band took the stage with "Dream House." (It's the only song I can recognize, since they play it on the radio; the rest of the songs blend together into one long cascade of loveliness.) They sounded amazing, and transfixed the crowd. Being near the back, I decided I should kneel on a stool in order to see, and I was a bit distracted trying to keep my balance, so I couldn't quite go into a trance like when I saw Alcest, but there were still parts that carried me away. I had just gone through a rather difficult personal episode, but hearing Deafheaven live purged all the negativity and made me feel so uplifted and alive. I could even forgive their, erm, not very metal appearance with short hair and random shirts (not even black..what sort of black metal is this) by how into it they were. Headbanging (sans hair), the singer and one guitarist dancing around to one melodic part, and the singer getting up close and personal with the crowd. At one point it looked like he was hugging people in the crowd, and he definitely threw himself onto the crowd briefly near the end of the set. It was intense. I only wish I had been able to get a better spot so I could have gotten more into the feel of it, but at least I got to see the band clearly from my precarious perch.
I stayed for a few songs of Between The Buried And Me. I owed it to a friend who really likes them. For her sake, I had tried a couple times to listen to them, but just could not get into them because of the chaotic segments in their music. They'd be doing something lovely or heandbangable with the guitars, and then suddenly go crazy and sound like a mess. Unfortunately, it was even worse live. During the discordant segments, I was almost in physical pain; it was like my soul was being destroyed. It quite possibly wiped away all the good vibes I got from Deafheaven. The ending of the second song was decent and I decided, that's it, gonna leave on a good note. Walked back to the car wishing I had brought my Deafheaven cd so I could get the good vibes back.
I was still glad I went, though. Seeing Deafheaven was worth it.
Next concert: Face-Melting Friday Melodic Metal Edition at the Sidebar, 2/28