Delicate Steve, Mac Demarco, Missions and Silver apples On Sunday Night At 35 Denton.
Following up a strong last day of outdoor venue sets from bands like Reigning Sound, The Oh Sees and Thurston Moore's new Chelsea Light Moving project, 35 Denton attendees with the will to keep partying had a full slate of pretty killer venue shows on Sunday night.
Over at the Hive, Delicate Steve and Mac Demarco were paired up for a guitar rock jam fest. Delicate Steve performed what can best be described as experimental rock music, incorporating everything from classic rock riffs to avant-garde and funky indie rock. They sounded like what would happen if you passed Peter Frampton through an Urban Outfitters filter.
It seemed, though, that everyone who happened to be there at the Hive had come for Mac Demarco, who's pretty hard not to love as a performer. He's enthusiastic and all smiles up on stage and loves banter with the crowd in his adorable Canadian accent. And their own brand of self-proclaimed “slacker rock” sonically fits the band, for sure, even if his band's live sets are known for featuring a range of stunts, including the occasional glimpse of nudity. Still, the set seemed pretty tame, for the most part — aside, maybe, from one humorous joke about Coldplay donating the lighting system for the stage. Eventually, Demarco did climb one of the stacks on the stage, which drove the crowd nuts. But that's a trick as old as time. More interesting was Demarco's completely weirdo, set-ending medley, which included a Bachman Turner Overdrive cover.
Over at Hailey's, the Austin-based Missions played to a slowly building crowd, offering up a dark and spacey sound. But it was the set that came next that really packed in the crowds at Hailey's, as Simeon from Silver Apples arrived on stage with about as much electronic equipment as one could fit on a folding banquet table.
There were no fancy lights, no projection, just this old, wizened electro wizard and all of his creations. As far back as the '60s, Simeon and his partner in crime and drummer, Danny Taylor, formed Silver Apples, and their musical experimentation laid the groundwork for probably close to 90 percent of the bands that played this year's festival. As such, it wasn't a complete surprise to see the venue so packed with people wearing artist badges during this set. These artists, clearly, had come out to see the wizard at work.
And Simeon's set sounded pretty damn great, too. He's handling double duty these days, since Danny Taylor passed away in 2005, but he does it with aplomb. Technological advances helped, no doubt, affording Simeon the opportunity the chance to play his one-man show, but it's somewhat bittersweet that a pioneer of electronic rock who passed away can be replaced by a bunch of silicon and metal.
Nonetheless, it was hard to believe that this stuff was made as long ago as it was. You can hear so much influence in it. And the crowd was rightly appreciative of the set; one woman told me she had waited 30 years to see the Apples play. And, to be sure, the throbbing beats and wavering distortion, coupled with Simeon's somewhat sparse vocal style had everyone in the place dancing — and if not that, then discussing the artists' tech setup and staring on in awe as he played.
After what he said was going to be his last song, Simeon joked he was going to his dressing room. Then he just knelt behind his setup. It was the coolest grandfather joke ever. Then he performed one more song, gave us all a bow, and closed out the night.
It was pretty much the perfect way to end the festival.