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Battles w/ Deerhunter
American Express' River to River
Pier 17 - South Street Seaport
August 31, 2007


Written by Katharine Heller
Photographed by Amy Davidson

Opposite Photo:
Drummer John Stainer

I can't think of a better way to bid Summer adieu than at the last River To River show the South Street Seaport. The intoxicating weather mixed with a jubilant crowd of music lovers young and old set the stage for an incredible night of ambient punk and progressive rock.

Bradford Cox of Deerhunter

Bradford Cox of Deerhunter

Josh Fauver of Deerhunter

Deerhunter opened the evening with a set so solid you could almost ignore frontman Bradford Cox's whisper thin resemblance to an emaciated twelve year old. His disjointed and ethereal vocals blended beautifully with the band's signature use of slide guitars, synth bells and heavy percussion. Think Liars meets David Bowie with more electronic toys. It was a well rounded show including some new songs from the upcoming album Microcastle and old favorites from "Turn It Up Faggot."

Tyondai Braxton of Battles

The first thing I noticed about the set up for the math rock phenom the Battles was that the drum kit is centrally located towards the front of the stage. This has very little to do with the fact that their drummer is the famous John Stainer of Helmet and more to do with the structure of their sound. Stainer is quite literally the heartbeat of a body, around which revolves the musical stylings of bandmates Ian Williams, Dave Konopka and Tyondai Braxton. Over the course of their set Battles created an intense fusion of Rock and Jazz, Electronica and Experimental. By the time Braxton fronted their hit single, Atlas off of their new album Mirrored, it seemed as if the energy of the crowd couldn't get any higher. It was refreshing to see a band that not only looked like they were having fun on stage, but in a unselfish way couldn't care less if they had an audience.

Dave Konopka of Battles

Tyondai Braxton of Battles

I highly recommend any venue at Pier 17, not only because the staff was kind and professional and the beer was reasonably priced, but because over the Summer they have proven themselves an incredible venue to enjoy oneself after a long, hard workweek. Until next year, I'll just have to enjoy my math rock on my iPod and think about a way to send Deerhunter's Cox a sandwich.

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