Deafheaven brought mayhem with them when they rocked the full house with Wreck and Reference and Pallbearer at Backbooth, June 16, in downtown Orlando. The line grew halfway around the block before doors opened at 8 p.m. to a club full of pulsing waves of sound.
1. Wreck and Reference, released LP June 2014. Drummer, Ignat Froge, mimed a vague resemblance of sympathy for instrumentalist Felix Skinner who closed his eyes and rocked back and forth on the stage. I had imagined I’d stepped into an impromptu Fringe rehearsal of a routine with experimental rock and post-metal overtones. Skinner played the blues, involving the crowd in the utmost plight of battling between expressing yourself and putting on one hell of a performance. Oh, and he doesn’t use a guitar; that’s a Launchpad he’s holding and he plays it with a familiarity unheard of before that night. (Maybe we’ll see these things replacing traditional instruments altogether.)
This two-man band was a mere tease to the last band, Deafheaven, as fans chatted among themselves during the set. (Not to toot their horns or anything, but the Flenser Records website almost borders on artsy, too, which is pretty cool.)
2. A group of veterans comprise Pallbearer, compared to the two new bands. These guys have been around since 2012, during the resurgence of post-metal bands in the Orlando area. The new album, Sorrow and Extinction, is slated for release in August.
3. And Deafheaven was the headliner for Monday’s lineup; they faked out the crowd, proposing to close out the show with their 10-minute song “The Pecan Tree”, but instead climbed back onto the stage one by one to a slow-building thunder roll of “Encore” urging them to keep on playing.
The sweating George Clarke leaned into the crowd orchestrating the audience to move into a convalescing semi-circle around him. They’ve certainly come a long way since the release of Roads to Judah in early 2011, their sound evolving from shots heard in the dark to a full on frenzy of fans coming out to see their show.
Backbooth, would seem to be a big enough venue to give leeway to near capacity, but granted no safe passage to those in need of a refill on booze during a half-hour set. Smokers rejoiced in having something to do with their hands while they reached out to touch any part of Clarke’s (Deafheaven) anatomy. He ultimately stole the room for the majority of the show and won over the rockers who were pushing one another with increasing fervor, the occasional flash photography catching harsh glimpses of the brawl brewing below.
During the last concert I attended here, FLOOR requested non-smoking signs be taped upon the brick walls. Deafheaven, Pallbearer and Wreck and Reference were bands who don’t mind giving it their all, while commiserating with the crowd with deep droughts of beer. I definitely can’t wait to see them next time their in town.
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