Lupo's - Providence, RI
July 16, 2010
I finally got a chance to hear Deer Tick play live. They play in Providence a lot, though not as much as you might expect for a band from Providence. For whatever reason, I always seem to be busy or out of town when they're in Providence. The show was hosted by Lupo's but it took place outdoors on Union St. between Washington and Worchester. The acoustics weren't the best and it was oppressively humid even at 10pm, but it gave the show a more raucous vibe. It was an all-ages show (perhaps because of the outdoor venue), which skewed the crowd to the young side and made me feel even older.
Deer Tick put on a good show. They played for almost two hours straight and it was pretty obvious that they were having a lot of fun up on stage. They played a good mix of songs from all three of their albums as well as a number of covers. Hearing a good band play covers really makes you realize how bad most cover bands are. They covered "Maybelline" by Chuck Berry, "Break Down" by Tom Petty, "Twist & Shout" by the Beetles, and "Cheap Sunglasses" by ZZ Top. Their "Break Down" cover was incredible - I liked it better than the original (and I really like the original). "Cheap Sunglasses" has always been a favorite of mine, and their uptempo, de-funkified, borderline psychobilly rendition of it was sublime.
I was also pleased to see that they recently added an organ player to the band. In my opinion, there are very few bands that wouldn't benefit from the addition of an organ player. The only real disappointment, and it was a minor one, was that the band brought a special guest on stage to sing "These Old Shoes". The guest was the author of the song, a local musician who was also part of the opening act. A magnanimous gesture no doubt, but I really missed hearing Jack McCauley's raspy vocals on one of my favorite Deer Tick songs.