By: Mike Stringham
On November 17th I had the opportunity to see Deafheaven at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park. This was my sixth or seventh time seeing them live and first time in New Jersey. I got to the venue towards the end of the opening band Inter Arma’s set, catching a song or two before they left the stage. I walked right up to the front of the room (as close as I could get to the stage without having to be on top of someone) for the fury that was about to come. The fury that was conducted by the singer of Deafheaven, George Clarke. Clarke is notoriously known for his all black clothing, and in the past he had worn black leather gloves to add to his repertoire. Gloveless and focused, Clarke signaled the crowd to come closer to the stage while gazing with intensity and without blinking, one of his trademark stage assets. They began their set with “Brought to the Water”, the first track off of their last album, New Bermuda. Seemingly the younger portion of the crowd was enthralled by Deafheaven’s set; while the older portion of the room was seemingly unenthused, waiting for the headliner, Carcass to come on.
About a song or two in, lead guitarist Kerry McCoy seemed to have trouble with his pedal board and his guitar. This led to an impromptu instrumental jam between the rest of the band while McCoy fixed the issue. This limited the set amount of songs they had been playing on each date of this tour to five. They played two songs off of New Bermuda, single “From The Kettle Unto The Coil”, and finished with two songs off of their acclaimed sophomore album Sunbather. The last songs, both off of Sunbather were fan favorite “Dream House” which had the room nodding harder than it had all set, and closed with title track “Sunbather”; a ten minute odyssey into their black metal/shoegaze sonically powered sound. Happy with the outcome of the show, I decided to buy a shirt from their merch table and head out of the venue, having to drive over an hour and a half to my house. I caught bassist Stephen Clark and drummer Dan Tracy outside the venue coincidentally, and I had a nice conversation with them. I was happy that they also agreed to record station shouts for WMSC; which showed they are good to their fans and respectable musicians and people.