Dan Deacon goes down to the wires

To this day, one of the most joyous gigs I’ve been to was Dan Deacon in 2007 in the sadly long defunct Crawdaddy, downstairs in Tripod. It’s been too long. The Baltimore electronic artist takes crowd participation to preposterously brilliant levels.

That night he played in the centre of the room while forcing everyone to sit down. He might split the crowd down the middle and have a dance contest, then making sure everyone on the opposing side high-fives and hugs.

At some point he might create a ‘Wall of Life’ — a good natured pisstake of the aggressive wall of death moshpits at metal gigs. But at every point he’ll be dishing out maximalist electronic sound collages with everything turned up to 11, like a performance art trickster.

But Deacon is no joker as a composer and performer. For nearly 20 years he has flitted between avant-garde electronics, futurist pop and and glitchy breaks, with a disregard for trends, and making his own. The live show is just a bonus — but what a bonus.

  • Dan Deacon plays the Grand Social in Dublin tonight (Friday)