It’s too rare to see mixed genre bills at shows now so I was excited to see that Deafheaven and Diiv were teaming up to go on the road and that the tour would be making a stop in Asheville. As someone who loves many kinds of music I’m all for more unexpected pairings like this. It might have been super annoying for metalheads to wait through Diiv, and clearly a decent amount of people left before Deafheaven (you fucked up, people).
This isn’t new for Deafheaven, the last time I saw them they had Emma Ruth Rundle opening. They continue to blur the line between metal and shoegaze, it wouldn’t surprise me if one day they get to a place where they aren’t incorporating metal into their sound at all. For now though, I consider them the best metal band going, this year’s Ordinary Corrupt Human Love is another strong addition to their catalogue.
Last night things began with Ioanna Giko, doing some solo material away from her band Io Echo. Her songs reminded me a lot of the band Austra, which is not a bad thing, Austra is great. Like Katie Stelmanis from Austra Ioanna Giko has a very good voice, and she uses it to soar over electronic drums accompanied by cello and bass. This was nice to have a third kind of music on the show.
Diiv was up next and they took the stage donned in pilgrim or nun (or pilgrim nun) costumes save for the guitarist who was dressed as a witch. They opened with a brief cover of the Jurassic Park theme before heading into their own material. Singer Zachary Cole Smith’s vocals and guitar were low in the mix for much of the set unfortunately. At one point a broken guitar string lead to an impromptu costume contest on stage between someone dressed as the Hamburglar and someone that was. . . sexy Slash from Guns N Roses?? I’m not sure. Diiv asked the crowd to choose for choice 1 or 2 but I’m not sure who was who so I have no idea who won and if they actually won anything other than standing on stage for a minute. The sound was better after this delay although another guitar string was immediately broken on the next song, which may have gotten us another older song, which I didn’t mind.
Deafheaven was last on the night. They came out to new songs Honeycomb and Canary Yellow, which combined is approximately 20 minutes worth of music. The bad thing about Deafheaven’s shows are that their songs are so long there isn’t a lot of room to sub in the new material without losing an old favorite, like Baby Blue. Next up though was Sunbather, which I haven’t seen them play since the album of the same name was out. Sunbather is one of my favorites of theirs so I was very happy to see it again. Brought to the Water, the opener of their excellent New Bermuda album, was next before two more new songs Worthless Animal and Glint. They then wrapped things up with Dream House and that was it. Sounds like a short set but add it all up and it was over an hour. They played great but I was a bit disappointed to not hear Baby Blue, maybe one day I’ll hear it and Sunbather in the same set, oh well.