Great, great show. I can safely say it lived up to expectations.
San Francisco no-fi act Kit kicked things off in mere seconds, gravitating around a drum set on the floor near stage right. The thing was a-shambles, cracked ride cymbal and all, and after a humble introduction, "We like you, Tempe!," its cause of damage became clear. Guitar and bass screeching triumphantly into cacaphony collided with charismatic yelping, as the drummer--the glue holding this volatile outfit together--proficiently beat the shit out of his set. One could easily combat this formula with raised eyebrows and the declaration "not music, just noise," but undeniable wasthow wonderfully alive the group felt in all its screaming glory. I imagined this as being vaguely how Deerhoof sounded, circa mid-90s.
By this point, a sizeable crowd had gathered around the half-circle surrounding Kit's set as Portlanders (Portlandites? Portlandians?) Experimental Dental School diverted their attention to the stage proper. Apparently a former four-piece who has opened for Deerhoof on previous tours, XDS in their current incarnation are a drummer and guitarist with alternating vocal duties. Sounding like a cross between Blonde Redhead's harsh guitar chimes and Beefheart-esque herky-jerk, the experimental dentists played a set full of mathy hooks. Fun stuff, and a really solid opening act overall.
At last, Deerhoof assumed the stage, completely living up to the hype. I had heard great things about their live show for years but had always missed a shot at the live experience. The 'hoof have perfected an impeccably tight instrumental setup over which vocalist/bassist Satomi's shrill voice hovered. Each song, the majority of which came from this year's Offend Maggie ("The Tears of Music and Love," "Snoopy Waves," "Buck and Judy," etc.) faithfully matched its counterpart on-record, with added amounts of the mischief, fury, and fun that define them. Other highlights included one from Apple O' (I am terrible with that album's track titles), the singles "The Perfect Me" and "+81" from last year's Friend Opportunity, "Twin Killers," and of course, the closer "Wrong Time Capsule."
The brief encore was a performance of Offend Maggie's "Bastketball Get Your Groove Back," in which Satomi paraded around the stage wielding a tiger mask. Quite possibly the most gleeful encore I've seen since witnessing Dinosaur Jr. unintentionally blow a stacked amp.