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Destroyer – played Music Hall, Bowery Ballroom tonight

Destroyer @ MHOW, Brooklyn, NY – April 22, 2008 (Eduardo)
Destroyer @ Music Hall

Understandably so, there is a tendency to conflate Destroyer and Dan Bejar, but in concert there is no question that they are a band, and not simply a solo act in disguise. Indeed, Bejar has an extremely commanding presence on stage with his floppy mop of hair, carefully crafted persona, and distinct vocal styling, but last night, he was frequently upstaged by Nicolas Bragg’s gorgeous renderings of his songs’ achingly romantic lead guitar parts, and Fisher Rose’s jaw-dropping performance on the drums. Rose is a monster behind the kit; equally adept at creating a light atmosphere with sleigh bells as he is pounding out a propulsive beat for “Dark Leaves From A Thread,” or providing the vertiginous, lopsided gait of “The State.” Collectively, Destroyer is exceptionally gifted at nailing the chiaroscuro tones of Bejar’s compositions, while also pumping up their most dramatic turns for the stage. With just a slight shift in emphasis, the lovely “Leopard Of Honor” became something of a somnambulist showstopper, and “Foam Hands,” a gentle anthem. In lesser hands, much of Bejar’s work could collapse into self-parody and pastiche, but his bandmates hold it together, resulting in deliberately pretentious romantic pop ballads of uncommon grace. [Fluxblog]

Destroyer plays again tonight @ Bowery Ballroom (April 23), and then his tour continues.

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