This is Going to Hurt: Deafheaven at Neumos

[Photo by Ashlin Wang]

Where does Deafheaven belong? They aren’t metal, and they aren’t shoegaze; so what, then? The topic of discussion surrounding the place of Deafheaven’s music and their unique sound is common among both shoegaze and metal fans alike. Combining the genres may seem like an easy feat to anyone who’s given their music a try, but the stubborn fans of each genre are endlessly, well…stubborn about the band’s successful merge of two (or more) seemingly opposing genres. All genre puritan bias aside, its clear Deafheaven manages to create music that seamlessly crosses boundaries, flowing from one genre to the next in a single song.

“Luna” starts with all the energy and anger of metal, but as the song progresses, we hear dreamy undertones beginning to surface. The undertones become more and more pronounced until they take over, and lead singer George Clarke conducts both the band and the audience into a sweet lull, only to be shaken again with more meaningful and somber shoegaze-post-punk-metal-mix tones.

So, is Deafheaven for shoegaze fans? Metal fans? Maybe post-rock fans? Although some fans are strictly metal and others are strictly shoegaze, and some might stay stubborn and stuck in their genres, the rest of us can weep and rally in the dreamy, jarring combination. And you, too, can be a part of that community with Deafheaven at Neumos this Sunday, March 26th.

Opening for Deafheaven are two atmospheric emo bands, This Will Destroy You and Emma Ruth Rundle. I was super excited to see This Will Destroy You on the bill, as the band certainly has a big enough following to headline the show on their own. This Will Destroy You specializes in long, building instrumental tracks, not unlike some of the softer parts present on many Deafheaven songs. This Will Destroy You will set the stage with the kind of music that lulls you into a thoughtful and emotional trance, where you contemplate the human spectrum of emotion and your last breakup and how the two relate to each other, etc. I’m new to the work of Emma Ruth Rundle, but her brand of slowed-down and complex emotional songs will pair well with Deafheaven’s sound, and should make for a nice opener before This Will Destroy You.

Prepare to feel a million feelings and get punched in the face in a single night—maybe even in a single song! All in all, Sunday at Neumos should be a painful, yet healing night.

Deafheaven will be playing at Neumos on Sunday, March 26 at 8 p.m. This show is officially sold out, so if you snagged a ticket, we’ll see you there!


JULIA OLSON | Burnt to a crisp | KXSU Head Reporter

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