Concert Review: Deerhoof, November 13, Lee’s Palace


Deerhoof knows the score: when you’ve got a drummer as good as Greg Saunier in your band, you don’t keep him hidden away at the back. You give him a space on equal footing with the rest of the band, right up front. You also let him handle the stage banter as much as possible, and rightfully so – the dude’s hilarious in a very wry, deadpan way. Case in point: when vocalist/bassist Satomi Matsuzaki had an issue with her pedal, Saunier leaped from his kit to assist her, but not before taking to the mic to explain exactly what was going down, and offering up an explanation as to why he came prepared with a screwdriver: “Some bands while on tour leave behind a trail of destruction, some broken hearts. We just leave behind broken distortion pedals.”

He further went on to fill some time by heaping some high praise on openers White Reaper and Priests while also highlighting the perils of being a headliner – the opening acts hang around backstage and drink all your coconut water while you play. Saunier was justified in his praise – both bands were impressive live outfits with top notch songs and energetic performances.  Priests were especially impressive considering they had apparently just arrived at the venue minutes before they took to the stage.

Any other band might have felt a bit threatened or worried about being upstaged by openers such as these, but Deerhoof, besides being impressively talented musicians, are just a lot of fun to watch live. From Matuzaki’s enthusiastic dance moves to Saunier’s banter, they certainly look to be having a lot of fun up there. While the band may have been together now for 20 years, they look as if they’re having just as much fun onstage now as they ever did if not more.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts