Destroyer Brought Out The Old, The Young And The Restless To Trees Last Night.
The show almost didn't happen. As for why? Well, opener Jennifer Castle said it was a story for the ages, one the touring bands on this bill would tell over and over again.
Alas, she must have meant between themselves. The generally reserved and private Dan Bejar, leader of the band Destroyer, certainly didn't let his crowd in on any big secret about the trouble he had in getting to last night's Trees show. He just reiterated Castle's point that the status of the show was definitely very dire earlier in the day.
But thankfully — and only an hour and a half late — Dallas got its Destroyer show. (And as a strange mystery, too!)
Bejar, with an assorted cast of musicians, has been making music under the moniker of Destroyer for a very long time in this age of indie rock. The first album Destroyer album, We'll Build Them a Golden Bridge, was released in 1996. Bejar also spent some time as the most interesting member of the New Pornographers.
In those 20 years of music, he's created an incredibly well-considered, varied and oftentimes strange collection of music. In an ideal world, he'd be Wilco-sized in his renown. But that's a different dimension.
As Destroyer's sound has evolved over the years, the music has gone from a poetic indie-folk to something that leans much more heavily into jazz. The latest record, Poison Season, amps up the rock 'n' roll in the mix — but if you aren't into sax in your rock music, it's likely going to seem really strange. Fortunately, Bejar's spoken-word, poetic, free-flowing lyrics pair really well with the improvisational jazz rock happening around him.
Last night they did, at least. With his eight-piece band, Destroyer created a sonic wall at Trees last night — not of noise like Swans, but one that rises and falls with the artistic storytelling of the lyrics. It is a very well rehearsed and smartly played set of music that spanned mostly across the new album and Kaputt, which came previously.
It was nice to see everyone from those under 21 to those well over it finding something really special in the set, too. Smiles could be seen all over, from the front of the room to the back. Somewhat oddly, there was even more dancing was happening in the back.
Point is, it's nice to know there are still people quietly making interesting music and maintaining some kind of relevancy as they do.
Maybe the show almost didn't happen. But we're certainly glad it did.