Words by Brian Everett (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photography by Michael Schaffer (email@example.com)
Welcomed by an enthusiastic audience on the first day of fall, Vancouver-based Destroyer roused the near sold-out crowd at Mohawk with 70 intense minutes of horn- and synth-fueled melodies.
Destroyer is the genre-shifting rock band led by Dan Bejar that first entered the stage back in 1996. Five years later Destroyer signed with Merge Records (Spoon, Dinosaur Jr., Neutral Milk Hotel) and took the indie scene by storm with their album Streethawk: A Seduction. Earlier this summer Destroyer released their tenth studio album, Poison Season, to universal acclaim.
As expected, the band’s fifteen song Austin set leaned heavily on Poison Season and 2011’s opus, Kaputt. Throughout the night Mr. Bejar waxed poetic front-and-center in a state of vulnerability, held afloat by a constant stream of layered song structures--provided by the seven-piece band behind him--that at times entered a state of controlled chaos. But make no mistake, Dan Bejar is in complete control. Luckily for us, Destroyer shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Austinite Thor Harris (Shearwater, Swans, Bill Callahan) and his outfit Thor and Friends opened the show. The critically acclaimed percussionist perfectly set the stage with mallet arrangements littered with syncopated rhythms, reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky and Tortoise. All in all, The Mohawk definitely started this new season off right with one hell of a show.
Forces from Above
Girl in a Sling
Savage Night at the Opera
Midnight Meet the Rain
Shooting Rockets (From the Desk of Night’s Ape)
Poor in Love
Hell Is an Open Door
Sun in the Sky