The characteristic that makes the guys of Deer Tick great fun is the same one that makes Deer Tick a stand-out band: an uncompromising sense of humor. When they’re not good-naturedly ribbing each other, their friends, or Pitchfork, the members of Deer Tick target their own project: For the closing set of a SXSW-closing showcase, Deer Tick forgo presenting their original material and opt instead to perform as Deervana, a Nirvana tribute band.
The boys do staggeringly well, creating in the crowd the aggregate excitement of a frat party and a unicorn sighting. Moshing and crowdsurfing appropriately ensue. Deervana frontman John McCauley stagedives like a swan, guitarists Ian and Rob power chord like Guitar Heroes, bassist Chris strums like he’s never had years of classical training, and drummer Dennis smashes like Dave Grohl. At the end, they all demolish their instruments like RAWK stars. It is completely excellent, in the Wayne’s World sense and every other sense.
It is only upon greeting him after the set that I get close enough to see John has even gone to the extreme of dying his hair Kurt Cobain burgundy. “You like it?” he asks. “I did it a couple hours ago.”
Yes, John, uncompromisingly.
Photos happily provided by Team Note Well