Destroyer, Crescent Ballroom, 6/7/12

Categories: Last Night

Abraham Karam
Destroyer performing at Crescent Ballroom.
Destroyer and Sandro Perri
Crescent Ballroom
Thursday, May 7

See also: Destroyer Got Rejected By Jazz Festivals, Which Is Good for Pop Fans

Speaking with Dan Bejar of Canadian indie rock band (or smooth jazz or '80s pop or Bowie-worshiping-street-poet rock -- the band was all of these at various points in the evening) Destroyer, he told me the initial plan for this delayed-but-welcome leg of the Kaputt tour was to tour only jazz festivals.

See our full Destroyer slideshow.

But the jazzbos weren't having it. Anyone's guess why a band doing more to make sexy sax and flute cool than just about anyone this side of Bon Iver would get rejected by the festivals, but it worked out for the best. Taking the stage at Crescent Ballroom armed with a supply of beer, a white Ralph Lauren button-down, and a look of detached intensity, Bejar let the seven-piece band do most of the heavy lifting, offering up his stream of consciousness rants, rife with nods to pop culture and political asides, in power, enigmatic bursts.

Abraham Karam
Sandro Perri performing at Crescent Ballroom.
Opener Sandro Perri, whose 2011 album Impossible Shapes found critics and fans comparing him to the likes of Boz Scaggs and Arthur Russell, was excellent. Backed by a stellar drummer, a keyboardist, and a dude who switched between samples, keys, and bass guitar, Perri's music felt groovy while rarely falling into a specified groove. It twisted and bucked, but Perri's soulful lyrics and quiet delivery assured that the songs never felt like complicated math equations. When Destroyer's saxophone/flautist hopped on stage, things got even more intriguing, as he layered sounds over the songs while quickly grabbing looks at pages of sheet music scattered on the ground.

Perri's guitar buzzed and rattled -- though he later apologized for the technical difficulties (probably a dying battery in this pedal chain), I liked disintegrating quality of the chords and leads, the punch of the attack followed by a soft electronic decay. I thought it was on purpose.

Abraham Karam
Destroyer performing at Crescent Ballroom.
Bejar and band stuck pretty close to Kaputt during the setlist, but branched out with opener "The Music Lovers," from 2004's Your Blues. That record found Bejar tinkering with synths and mostly alone, so it made for a powerful contrast as the band added might and heft to the compositions.

Location Info

Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

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Word. Great photos.

some dude
some dude

The photos of the show are fantastic.  Wow.  

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