My Dan Deacon Experience. + VideoPosted: July 29, 2011
I shoot a lot of video, folks. Ever since I purchased my Canon T3i, I’ve been taking it everywhere and shooting everything. Fast forward two weeks and SXSW has taken charge of Austin, Texas and transformed it into a fantastical music experience. I’ve been going every year since 2009 and as luck would have it, this year I had a camera on me. I shot video of every band I saw, even if the lighting in the venue was terrible (Las Robertas, I’m looking at you). So, when I heard that Dan Deacon was going to be playing one show at the festival and that it was in four hours (at the time), I jumped at the chance of getting video of the guy. His performances have been heralded as being on par with religious experiences, so I was eager to be able to capture some of that with my camera.
Unfortunately, I underestimated the amount of people that would be there ‘early’ and ended up standing close to 15 feet from the guy behind a thick crowd of people and only got to actually see him for maybe 2 minutes while he set up his equipment. However, I was well within earshot of his set so I was able to hear everything pretty well. I’ve posted it below, but I recommend that you read the text below it first.
Now, it has come to my attention that I seem to have a running trend with SXSW. Every time I’ve attended the festival, I’ve had feelings for a girl. Each one has been different, and they’ve all meant something dear to me in their own unique ways. I’d go as far as to say that if these girls had not been in my life at the time of my attendance, my experiences would have been significantly different. This has become more and more true with each passing year. So, back to the show. I’m standing maybe 15 feet from Deacon, a sea of people between us, but I can hear everything loud and clear. He played songs I wasn’t familiar with and songs I was familiar with, and at one point, brought the show down to a smooth and slow pace while music continued to play. He started instructing the crowd to place their hands on the heads of the person in front of them. I felt someone place their hands on my head but did not turn around. I was still shooting with my camera so I kept my eyes on the screen. “…and now I want you to think about…I want you to think about the face of the person you love most in this world”, said Deacon. My mind immediately went to the girl back home. “I want you to think about them looking at you, smiling.” I did. I hadn’t seen her since the night before I left for Austin. “Think about the joy that they’ve brought to your life, and how wonderful they are.” I did. I was so happy that she was in my life. She meant the world to me. “And now slowly raise those hands up off those heads, feel that weight off of your body, and let us enjoy this beautiful night!” Hands shot up in the air. Everyone in the audience cheered loudly. I was so happy with the way everything was at that precise moment. Dead tired from the day’s worth of walking from place to place, surrounded by all of these people who shared this experience with me. Everything felt right. I was happy. And with the cheers returned the beat, and the beat grew from sporadic blasts to a constant barrage of sound that enveloped me and anyone within the perimeter. It was, in a word, great. Deacon’s set came to a close with one of his biggest ‘hits’, “Wham City”, and brought to an end one of the best nights of that week for me.
This has been my Dan Deacon experience. I encourage all of you to take the opportunity to see him live if presented with it.