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Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks @ The Triple Rock

Apr 18, 2014

Animal Collective’s Avey Tare took his new band out for a test drive on April 16th, 2014 at the Triple Rock and thrilled a young, energetic crowd.

DUSTIN WONG

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Dustin Wong calmly took the stage at the Triple Rock Wednesday night a little before 9:00 pm. Seated alone in the center of the stage, he began picking away at his guitar before a rather elaborate series of effects pedals. His calm demeanor was quite deceptive, however, as he quickly showed just how intricate and fun his music could be.

Wong began his set the same way he began most of his songs, with a gentle guitar melody. One thing that was soon realized was how a single guitar melody can be transformed into a full-bodied composition that could fill the entire venue with sound. In front of a still rather sparse crowd at the Triple Rock, Wong started molding songs using looping and distortion pedals. The distortion pedals allowed his single guitar to take many different forms, from bass to percussion, while using his loop pedal to arrange these sounds into brilliantly complex pieces of music.

If Wong were in a band setting where he was the primary guitarist, the technical lines he creates would stand out, but when layering line upon line of guitar on top of each other, the experience was greatly augmented, enough so to get the crowd swaying and dancing on several occasions, which is no easy feat for a solo musician.

The one setback of Wong’s setup is a lack of melodic expansion. By choosing looping as his primary means of performance, he sacrifices the possibility of creating chord progressions and melodies longer than a few measures. However, his ability to create complex vertical harmonization truly made up for any lack of melodic interest.

Wong paused long enough for applause only twice in his set, but each time was rewarded with great appreciation from the audience. With a huge, genuine smile, he replied with a simple “Thank you." 

AVEY TARE'S SLASHER FLICKS

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The Triple Rock had filled up considerably since Wong had left the stage. The crowd was full of young music lovers beaming with energy and excitement to see this newly assembled group of accredited indie musicians. Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks took the stage in front of a wall full of plastic skulls that served as the backdrop for a rather trippy light show that matched their music style very well.

Right off the bat, ATSF hit the crowd in the face with a huge sound that continued for the remainder of the evening. The different music styles of each of the three performers merged together quickly to create the rather distinctive sound found on the group’s debut album, “Enter the Slasher House,” which was released earlier this month. Front man Avey Tare (David Portner) looked very comfortable on stage with his guitar and pedals that he used frequently to create intense ambience that served as the backdrop for some very free, aggressive drumming from Jeremy Hyman (ex-Ponytail drummer) and booming bass from keyboard/vocalist Angel Deradoorian (ex-Dirty Projectors singer).

Deradoorian offered many subtle vocal harmonies, but was mostly audible through her excellent playing on a pair of electronic keyboards, which served as both bass and melodic accompaniment. Throughout the performance, she continually bopped up and down to the beat, making her a rather adorable sidekick to Porter. They both seemed very thankful and glad to be performing, and at one point late in the set, Deradoorian mentioned that they were “really, really, really stoked,” to be playing in Minneapolis, something Minneapolis concertgoers enjoy hearing.

Porter was his usual, unbridled self throughout the performance, with his distorted guitar and wildly enthusiastic vocal outbursts. His passion for his music is undeniable, and was apparent from his twisting and contorting while he played, while his feet stayed nailed to the floor. It is this love for music that made the performance so fun and enjoyable. The crowd obviously loved it, for after a short break, the band was called out for a two song encore, where they played Modern Days and Strange Colores. The encore left the crowd satisfied, and beaming with excitement from amazing show that had just taken place.

Tyler Croat