Destroyer at El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Destroyer

Destroyer at El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA,, June 6th, 2012

Jun 08, 2012
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Dan Bejar is the smoothest man in indie rock. Nine albums and a handful of EPs into his musical career as Destroyer (not to mention a side-gig as a member of “don’t call it a supergroup” New Pornographers), he combines some of the least cool aspects of folk, 1970s-style soft rock, and (in the case of his most recently release Kaputt) good ol’ fashioned lounge music into a disarmingly slick blend.  Not that it really matters if we enjoy it or not. “I write poetry for myself,” he reminds us Kaputt track, “Blue Eyes.”

It appears that—at least on Wednesday night at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles—Bejar’s yacht-ready message was well received, as he and a five-piece performed a 13-song set that was so non-ironic it required the services of a smooth sax player who also doubled as the band’s flute player. Hardcore! (Er…ish…)

Showing off his remarkable abilities to successfully cram seventeen syllables into a single breath and not die of alcohol poisoning over the course of a beer and spirit-heavy show, Bejar didn’t feel the need to address his audience. Song breaks were strictly for grabbing another drink or a quick nod of affirmation to his band. His showmanship mainly consisted of swaying, eyes closed, often with a tambourine in hand. But let’s face it: we’d be disappointed if Bejar suddenly felt the need indulge in David Bowie-level theatrics.

Bejar’s one moment of audience engagement was perhaps the set highlight. At the end of  “Libby's First Sunrise,” Bejar announced to the crowd, “That was the last song off our eighth album.” When a fan called out, requesting “Sublimation Hour,” he paused, before replying, “That's the fourth song from our fourth album.” Take away message? Even when in his cups, Bejar is faster-witted than you’ll ever be.

Setlist:

1. Your Blues

2. Savage Night at the Opera

3. European Oils

4. Downtown

5. English Music

6. Chinatown

7. Rubies

8. Kaputt

9. Libby's First Sunrise

10. Blue Eyes

11. Self Portrait With Thing (Tonight Is Not Your Night)

Encore

12. Temple

13. Bay of Pigs (Detail)

(www.destroyersongs.com)

 

 




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