By Francesca Beltran
When one has to travel all the way to Park Slope to see a band play live, one expects that band to be mind-freaking-blowing (at least). On that account, Deleted Scenes, in my humble opinion, was sadly a bummer.
As usual, I listened to some of the band’s songs a couple of days before the show and I was both curious and a little bit excited to see this eclectic, dark-funk, indie-rock band from Washington D.C., who clearly had such a big 60s influence, play live. Boy was I in for a disappointment.
The terrible sound, with screaks all over the place, was the biggest but not the only letdown. Dan Scheuerman’s voice, which had sounded so melodic on record, was (more often than not) squeaky and a bit out of tune. Particularly when he tried these really weird, long, high-pitched sounds.
In general, I oughta say Deleted Scenes does have some good melodies and tunes. Their new song ‘Teenage Kids’ for example, has a very promising melodic intro but, like the rest of the setlist, fell short of my expectations. Seemed to me as if there was a bit too much of everything rolling around accompanied by some oh ohs, oos and ahs, a bit too often.
From their peculiar sound check it was made clear that the four-man band was very proud of –and even rejoiced in their dorkiness. I get it, being a dork seems to be quite cool nowadays; however, this is only really acceptable when the band’s music speaks for itself on stage, which, as I explained before, was not exactly the case.
If anything, the band was most definitely not short of charisma. At some point Scheuerman said something funny about “yellow fucking dogs” (sorry, what?). If that wasn’t cool enough he then said, “You guys are just like pizza” and later added “This is feeling good, like I said, ‘pizza’.” Get it? Me neither.
Granted, the thirty people gathered to see the show seemed very much into it. Like, really, really into it (clapping and everything). At some point someone even screamed, “You’re awesome!” to which the other twenty-nine actually cheered in support. Maybe the band was simply not my cup of tea, or maybe I am just not sophisticated enough to “get it.” Who knows? Apparently, I don’t.
Engaging vocal melodies, good drums, interesting bass guitar-driven tunes, the band, which has already accomplished a unique sound, also appears to have everything in order to transform this original sound into a great one. And although they may have already greatly accomplished this on record, they still have to work a tad on their live act.
The show, held on July 20 at The Rock Shop, was part of Deleted Scenes’ tour to promote their recently released album Young People’s Church of the Air, which grabs rhythmic feels from 80s pop, R&B, surf rock, dark funk, and Go-Go.