with Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside
The intense, raspy voice of Deer Tick’s John McCauley is a good analogy for Thursday night’s show at the Urban Lounge. At times, it’s a bit rough and you wonder how long before his vocal chords finally give out and the shit hits the fan. But, for the most part, it never did. Even though McCauley seemed a little unhappy with his guitar at times, calling it an asshole at one point, Deer Tick delivered a memorable set in all its ragged glory.
The night was a steady, two-and-a-half hour crescendo of rock and roll, which began with Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside. For their first-ever show in Salt Lake City, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside played a solid opening set with their unique blend of rockabilly and garage rock. I was impressed by the chops of lead guitarist John Munger, who seemed to be having just a good of time as the audience, drinking beer and bullshitting with the crowd. About midway through their set, both Ford and Munger (with his guitar) hopped off center stage during a song to join the crowd in dancing. It was a refreshing sight to see a band feeding off the audience’s energy and enjoying each other’s company. The Portland-based group delivered a strong 40-minutes not only with their music, but with their cheerfulness as well. Hopefully, they’ll make SLC a regular tour stop.
This was my first time seeing Deer Tick, so I didn’t know really what to expect. I’ve heard that their live shows can get a bit wild and hectic, but sometimes, that makes the show even more memorable. As the band took the stage, a bright sign displaying the words “Deer” and “Tick” lit up, and the band kicked off their set. In contrast to the happy-go-luck vibe of Sallie Ford, Deer Tick possesses more of a punk-style of performance, with loud, in-your-face playing that makes for a good time. Even with McCauley’s aforementioned guitar problems, the rest of the band was locked in with each other for most of the night.
I quickly realized the large fan base Deer Tick has here, as the majority of the crowd sang along enthusiastically for the entire show. Despite the band’s high-energy style of playing on stage, there wasn’t much dialogue with the audience in between songs, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind too much. The only major delay came when a guy jumped on stage, grabbed hold of McCauley’s mic stand and wouldn’t let go. After security pulled him off stage, he was promptly escorted out by an angry Will Sartain (the owner of Urban Lounge) and a security guard. After a couple minutes of getting things back in place, Deer Tick took the incident in stride and quickly got back to the music.
The night culminated with Deer Tick doing a cover of the Beastie Boys song, “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!).” Although the Beastie Boys are not exactly my cup of tea when it comes to music, it was pretty cool to see the entire audience go ape shit as they sang along in a tribute to the late Adam Yauch, aka MCA, who passed away on May 4.The band played for about an hour-and-a-half straight, with no encore at the end, but after they busted out the cover of the Beastie Boys, I think most people felt they got their money’s worth. As McCauley walked off stage, he celebrated by shaking up his beer bottle and spraying it everywhere. It was a fitting end. It wasn’t a perfect show from a music standpoint, but Deer Tick managed to put on a hell of a good time—which I think is just as important.