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Dan Deacon comes to Legends

Courtney Cox | Friday, March 4, 2011

One of indie music’s most dynamic artists will fill Legends Saturday night.

Dan Deacon, a Baltimore-based electronic phenom whose 2009 album “Broomst” received rave reviews, changed the way electronic music is perceived in the ultra-judgmental hipster scene.

Deacon’s music can be characterized as sort of pseudo-dance music. The build up to the truly thrilling moments in his music is decidedly slow, but it’s worth the wait. For example, “Snookered,” a song off “Broomst,” runs close to eight minutes. He takes listeners on a journey from the beginning moments of the song and once the end is reached its difficult to determine just how many songs were packed into the span of time spent listening to Deacon’s captivating manipulation of bizarre instruments and auto-tune.

More captivating than Dan Deacon’s music, and the reason his performance at Legends is so highly anticipated, is his showmanship.  

“WVFI selected Dan Deacon in part because of his renown as an interactive and entertaining performer and in part because of the quality and innovation of his music,” said Nicolle Walkling, station manager of WVFI — which combined with Legends to host Deacon.

Deacon is notorious for his onstage antics. A regular on the festival scene, he has been known to direct crowds numbering close to 20,000 people in different acts that serve to enhance his musical talent. At Lollapalooza in 2009 he compelled members of the crowd to join together into a gigantic conga line that weaved throughout the rest of the audience.  Some members of his own band even joined at the end of the line.  

He has also been rumored to get crowds to form a circle spiraling inward towards the center, where Deacon himself performs until he departs via airlift.  

In fact the interaction with the crowd is Deacon’s defining character. When not playing for large crowds he performs in the center of the audience so that they are close to the action and able to feel as though they are truly part of the experience rather than just watching someone perform.  

In choosing Dan Deacon as their Spring concert, WFVI is attempting to revolutionize the concert experience on campus, Walkling said.

“We wanted to bring someone to the campus of Notre Dame who would defy the expectations and conventions of a typical concert,” she said. “Dan Deacon’s high-energy electronic music and participatory performances were exactly the sort of welcome departure that we wanted.”  

If Deacon performs in the unique way for which he has become renowned, the performance is likely to live up to the title of the venue in which it is held and truly be legendary. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether the same place that hosts “Hip Hop Night” can be conducive to a performance as innovative as a Dan Deacon concert.

Walkling believes that Deacon will be able to pull out all the stops for an incredible performance.

 “I do expect the same sort of extravagant live show this weekend. Deacon loves to bring a unique sort of interactive quality to his shows, whether it’s actually performing in the crowd or encouraging dancing among the audience,” Walking said. “For example, I saw a video once of him forming a giant, high-fiving whirlpool in the crowd.  I can only hope that Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students get to experience the same sort of unique concert-going experience this Saturday.”