Northeastern’s hottest venue (in a Starbucks) hosted Dan Deacon awhile back and I got to see it

Check out my overview of a Dan Deacon concert back in April. Good stuff.


On the night of April 6 I went to see Dan Deacon’s show. And I brought I camera.

A blurred Deacon during the introductory lecture part of his performance.

Deacon played at Afterhours, the Starbucks on campus (in the Curry Student Center) that is equipped with sufficient equipment to host legitimate acts. Every person I’ve seen perform there has mentioned that the stage is in a Starbucks. It never gets old. Performers have heckled or apologized to Starbucks employees so many times that it seems halfway normal at this point.

The doors opened at 7 p.m., and for a while it seemed as if not many people had made it past the light drizzle outside their doorstep. But people crept in eventually.

At 7:30 p.m. the show started for real and the audience was subjected to a half an hour comedy routine/storytelling time as presented by Dan Deacon. It felt weirdly intimate and pretty darn friendly—the audience was sitting on the floor.

Deacon posing next to a friend of mine who shall go by the name of David. At the time I was rather thoughtlessly playing around with low shutter speed without a tripod.

Long story short, Dan Deacon is funny guy. Makes sense to me.

After the strange talk, the dude took a couple questions. I asked him to give some context to the popular internet video “Drinking Out of Cups” that functions as a music video for Deacon’s song of the same name.

According to Deacon, the audio for this video was originally a vocal performance project for a college class. The voice is based off of two different characters he and a friend created (both characters named Lou) that represent a “bro” culture. After a time, Liam Lynch wanted to animate a music video for the track, so he did. Then it went viral. This was all at least a decade ago.

I’ve been passively wondering about where this came from for a couple years now so it was pretty cool hearing him actually explain how this video came about. Now I know.

Anyway, the opening act was called Department of Everything. This is a local noise punk band whose drummer wore what looked like a gas mask for the first couple songs. Their performance featured much jumping around, a lot of yelling and a ton of crazed euphonium playing.

Sam Hanson, the drummer and sometime vocalist for Department of Everything. The mask has a microphone attached.

The band gave out ear plugs for the audience to wear (they were necessary), and one of the vocal mics was a telephone that the vocalist and sampler Mark Aylward wore around his neck.

From the left: Adam Straus on bass, Zach Cadman on euphonium and a blurred out Mark Aylward on live production and vocals.
A less frenetic shot of Aylward adjusting dials on a Music Production Controller.

Their music was chaotic, and not very beautiful, but it was entertaining to a point. I was enjoying it more in their last couple songs. Watching a band mosh around and wind up on the floor half the time was fun. Not my cup of tea really, but they were certainly into it.

There was also markers and two connected two-by-fours available for the audience to draw on. I’m not sure why.

A low-light and blurry capture of the plank, complete with markers.

I ended up shooting Department of Everything‘s set much more thoroughly than Deacon’s, which is a shame I guess. Honestly, I just wanted to put the camera away and enjoy it when Deacon was playing.

I’m a bit of a fan, and he interacts with the crowd, calling on the audience to start a dance-party (with rules) and other shenanigans. Towards the end of his set, Deacon got everyone to run outside the venue through a tunnel of raised arms and snake around the Curry Student Center. It was like a flashback to kindergarten.

Afterhours is a pretty cool venue.

Anyway, I had fun. I’ll leave you with a selfie I snagged featuring Deacon following the set. I look way too smug.IMG_2741.jpg

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