Dancing with Mr. Deez

July 18th, 2011

Darwin Deez – The Bowery Ballroom – July 15, 2011

(Photo: Lauren Glucksman)

My notes from the Darwin Deez show on Friday at The Bowery Ballroom include a lot of exclamation points and happy words like: Fun! Dance! Yes! Pizzazz! Ridiculous! The group, consisting of Andrew Hoepfner (guitar-vocals), Greg Richardson (percussion), Michelle Dorrance (bass-vocals) and Darwin Deez (lead vocals-guitar), began with a boom. With their backs turned to the audience, the quintet broke into different poses and then into a full-out dance against the sounds of ’80s and ’90s dance beats. Amazing!

From there, the energy didn’t stop as the group rolled into the first song of the night, “Up in the Clouds,” off Darwin Deez. Those in the packed house were bopping and dancing, and so was the band. Throughout the entire performance, the group maintained a liveliness to be reckoned with. From the second number, “The Suicide Song,” Darwin Deez once again dived into a smashing dance routine, this time to Earth Wind and Fire’s classic jam “Reason.” So good! Dorrance, Hoepfner and Deez’ sweet harmonies were then showcased in the sad and relatable “Bed Space,” a melody about feeling lost after losing love. The frontman shared that after seven years in New York City, he plans to move back to his home state of North Carolina, which led into their next tune, “The City,” based on his time here.

Craziness quickly ensued again as Deez busted into an impressive rap covering all of the important things: Cindy Crawford’s lip gloss, The Boondock Saints and granny panties. After giving props to DJ Hummus, the crew recovered quickly, playing more hit songs including the superquirky “Bad Day” before closing with the stellar “Constellations” as the encore. If you missed this show, you certainly did miss out. Not only are the songs supercatchy and pleasing to the ear, the total experience of it was flat-out fun! —Kristen Ferreira