Deafheaven Stole My Heart

Like Roberta Flack’s song, ‘Killing Me Softly,’ music enthusiasts know that this feeling is a real thing that can happen around live music. Folks can suddenly break out dancing, laughing, cheering or crying.

Somehow, someway I found myself at the Baroness Show blubbering like a little kid. (Stone cold sober too.)

The line up was Zeal & Ardor, Deafheaven and Baroness. Baroness in particular has been a unicorn for me to catch live ever since their album ‘Purple’ was released in 2015. They’ve had shows in NYC plenty, but the timing never seemed right for me to witness their live show.

I didn’t know who Deafheaven was going into this event. As they stepped out on stage before Baroness, I waited patiently at the stage barricade skeptically. Good metal is hard to find.

I. Was. Not. Ready.

Black metal vocals of a traditional Nordic variety hit me along with a very American mix of alternative rock undertones. Even the band members reflected this style range in their attire. One guitarist looked similar to the lead singer of Weezer, while another member looked as if he just strolled out of Dethklok. Contemporary sounds whispering to the positive chord of Coldplay became overrun with the aggressive metal vocals. It was a sweet and salty buffet of dimension.

Average folks often assume that metal has no soul, no warmth- these guys were able to prove that sentiment wrong. As the slow moving crowd began to gently carry people above our heads, towards the stage- I had to wonder, who the hell were these guys?!

Deafheaven succeeded in putting a spell on the whole crowd and left me completely tongue tied. By the time Baroness began their set, it was almost too perfect. I felt like all my traveling this past year to Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Royal Open House could not touch what I had just witnessed.

*Sniffles* Ah, metal. Metal. M E T A L.