I receive an email around 7:30pm last night indicating that Wye Oak would not be able to make their show with the Lower Dens at the EARL due to illness. The message included a notice that "Deerhunter music group" would be replacing Wye Oak as the headliner. I asked myself, "who the hell is Deerhunter music group"? But for only $5, seeing the Lower Dens, a band whose 2010 debut LP "Twin Hand Movement" easily made my top 5 of the year, was a bargain regardless of the replacement headliner.
At the venue, the first sign of what lay in store for me was the same "Skinny" t-shirt I had bought at the Halcyon Digest release party available at the merch table. I realized "Deerhunter music group" meant "Deerhunter, the music group." I guess as opposed to showing the 1978 Vietnam war film starring Robert de Niro, Meryl Streep, and Christopher Walken. The Lower Dens were great. But Deerhunter crushed it.
It was amazing seeing a local band play for the local crowd with genuine joy and affection. Each song turned into an extended jam session. I could sense a real pleasure and enthusiasm emanating from the band in this unscheduled opportunity to play for the crowd and the crowd's genuine appreciation. Bradford even played in support of the opener, Lonny Holley, and joined the crowd front row for the Lower Dens. He called the Lower Dens Deerhunter's "favorite band," but tonight's impromptu performance filling in for Wye Oak deepened my already deep appreciation for Atlanta's band.
For regular readers, you know I haven't always had the best time at shows here in Atlanta. In fact, most times performances here come up short simply based on the lack of energy evident in the crowd. But I felt like I got the opportunity to experience something rare tonight. Easily the best show I've been too since I arrived here in Georgia. Thanks again to Bradford Cox and Deerhunter for stepping up to the plate. You guys were amazing.