By MATT BLAKELY
Despite lead singer Dan Bejar’s standoffish stage presence, Destroyer played a fantastic show last Tuesday night at the Black Cat in DC.
After listening to their new album “Kaputt” on repeat for the last couple of months, I pegged Bejar as the kind of front man that would connect with an audience, dance along with the music and allow the show’s energy create its own organic framework.
Bejar’s performance and personality instead proved to be often times flat; he barely looked at the audience the entire show and, near the end, sang lyrics off of a cheat sheet, shattering my belief that an artist cannot be separated from his or her work.
Destroyer played a majority of “Kaputt,” which sounded great. In comparison to the band’s earlier, more indie oriented, albums “Kaputt” is driven by jazz influences. The new brass-heavy sound is entirely different from what fans have come to expect from Destroyer, and thankfully so. The jazz band saved the show.
In stark contrast to Bejar, the five-piece had a great attitude and felt very comfortable on stage. Each member of the band proved themselves necessary to the cohesion of the group.
Destroyer kicked off the night with “Chinatown,” and the crowd could not have been happier. Other highlights included “Blue Eyes,” “Downtown,” and “Song for America.”
The only old song Destroyer performed, at the request of the audience, was “Painter in Your Pocket.”
Though I expected them to be more sociable, Destroyer put on a great show and reminded me that sometimes bands far outshine their lead singers.