Welcome to Noise Pop report-back edition #1, where we talk about my lousy flirting skills, free bread, and some fierce walls of sound…
Truthfully, we were feeling a bit underwhelmed about the opening night party for this year’s Noise Pop installment. There was no photo booth, no body shots, and no strippers (okay, so the latter two have never happened, but one can dream no?). Starting out the night at the VIP party before the free party with Atlanta’s Deerhunter also meant we were on our feet for five and a half hours waiting around, but it wasn’t anything that couldn’t be soothed by some free Red Stripe. Empanadas and what we think were slices of French rolls were distributed at the VIP shindig while Dntel/James Figurine headmaster Jimmy Tamborello stood quietly at the DJ booth looking pensive and pressing buttons every so often as a part of his DJ duties.
Wandering while the stage was being turned around for Deerhunter, we found the secret stash of free shit in the back, with Up The Antics doing screen-printing, handing out swag, and Rock Band set-ups for our inner guitar hero to emerge at. Also making an appearance was The Ice Cream Man who set up shop from within a car trunk and handed me a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. I teared up a little bit at the sugary goodness at my fingertips, moving on to then gripe to my concert partner about my lack in smooth moves (“How do I know he’s hitting on me? And if I’m doing it back? WHY CAN’T WE JUST KNOW, OMG”).
But nothing could have prepared us for the audio that Deerhunter’s subwoofers were about to deliver to our asses. I think that perhaps I lost part of my right eardrum and all sonic-detecting capabilities for three days from the show. Massive layers and impressive walls of sound blasted throughout Mezzanine, and at one point I realized half of the audience was starting to move towards the back of the venue purely because the volume was that monumental. Singer Bradford Cox chatted with the audience in songs, though I was too distracted by his arms that seemingly had been swapped out for PickUp Sticks (Does he eat? Can I take him to dinner?).
Songs like “Nothing Ever Happened,” which carried more of a melody and catchy chorus, translated well to merit some toe tapping. I found myself comparing them to a less creepy Radiohead with Kasabian’s singer on vocals. But stuff like “Wash Off” nearly killed me, literally; I felt my heart panic from within my chest going “WTF dude!!” from all the reverb, and the guitars just swarmed all over the audience, being peaceful at first to then lay some serious assault. I walked out screaming at everyone unknowingly and hearing a “Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep” in between my ears. I think I need to start wearing ear plugs. Overall though, I was impressed with what the four-piece could deliver; I just think I’m going to stick to the MySpace page. Besides, I had to get to bed early anyway…happy hours awaited the next day.