all words: Robb Scott
all great photos: Julia Benton
I shall begin by first apologizing to any die-hard Darwin Deez fans who may find their way to this review, I try my best to do nothing but tell the truth. For those not in attendance to the teeny-bopper heavy crowd at the Black Cat this past Thursday night, well, you didn’t miss much.
Having missed the opener, Painted Face (second time this year), I will reserve any judgments against them, and will allow the photos to speak for me instead (thanks Julia).
On to the main event, Darwin Deez.
Having never really listened to this band until about a week before this show, and my subsequent interview with the main man Double D, I was quickly and genuinely into his music. I was expecting a pretty light-hearted show, somewhere along the lines of a Mika or Frankmusik performance—and that’s exactly what I got… sort of.
I felt as if I stepped into a time-warp, and was amongst a sea of high schoolers with their big black Xs of shame (sadly, I too am among them… only 10 more months to go). Ignoring that minor issue, the show as a whole felt like one long episode of Barney—yes, the big purple dinosaur of our childhoods.
In between songs about love and loss, and other warm fuzzies, Darwin and his band broke out into choreographed routines, which came off extremely gimmicky.
Not saying it wasn’t cute and fun, because I did feel the joy—but I came for a show, not interpretive dance. For those in attendance, I’m referring to that little “burial dance” for the broken tambourine—here, I can’t help but exclaim “STAGED!!!” Deez did receive a gold star in my book though for even having a tambourine; I have a soft spot for the hand-to-hip instrument.
I give the guys kudos for the soundtracks to which they did their grooves to—especially the chopped and screwed version of “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls. There was a point in which they attempted a call-and-response, but to the dismay of myself and the friend I’d dragged along with me, it sounded more like a painful and awkward orgasm than anything truly hype-creating.
Nearing the end of their set, Darwin Deez gave space to his bassist Andrew Hoepfner, whom he played bass for in the band Creaky Boards, to pull out a track from his catalog: “Beth and Oliver.”
What I wasn’t expecting was for the guys to break out into freestyles—a very welcomed, and pleasant surprise. Darwin and Andrew, or rather Babaganoosh’s rhymes were as cheesy as their dance routines, but they were catchy nonetheless: “…extra hummus, no pita—come quick like a cheetah.”
The lyric goes: “Every big room has an exit sign, but in relationships, it’s not as clearly defined”—well, I was desperately seeking the path to the exit barely halfway into the set. Darwin Deez disappointed me in a big way; their music and lyrics are simple, and I wouldn’t have minded a simple set—the theatrics were just doing way too much.
Up In The Clouds
The Suicide Song
The Bomb Song
[Unknown are the two songs performed during the Encore]