Concert review: Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks at the Triple Rock

Angel Deradoorian, keyboardist for Avey Tares Slasher Flicks, performs at the Triple Rock Social Club on Wednesday Night.

Image by Chelsea Gortmaker

Angel Deradoorian, keyboardist for Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, performs at the Triple Rock Social Club on Wednesday Night.

by Zach Simon

I didn’t know what to expect when a solitary, nondescript man named Dustin Wong walked out on stage last night to open for Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks at the Triple Rock Social Club. Lacking a great deal of guitar-pedal-loop-music knowledge, I was baffled by the cacophony he was able to create.

As emotions were painted across his contorting face, Wong blew me away with a crescendoing symphony on “Speeding Feathers Staring.” Its frenetic air was so familiar, yet almost completely indescribable to me. It was as if he was letting the crowd into his own world where wailing like a sea monster is the only verbal communication.

Many times the musician would hit his head on the mic between standing and sitting. It was really refreshing to see a performer get into his own show as much as the people huddled around him.

In nothing but socks, Wong’s feet calmly adjusted each pedal as naturally as breathing. With surgical intricacy, he created sounds from a high-pitched violin to a straight up rock guitar solo with nothing more than his big toe.

That was just the opener.

When Avey Tare and company took the stage, it was like rediscovering Animal Collective all over again. What was a small gathering for Dustin Wong morphed into a crammed floor where you could hardly breathe. The proximity allowed the intense rhythms of songs like “Little Fang” to beat your heart for you. The three-piece had enough distortion to kill a small horse, and at points I was worried the title “Slasher Flicks” would actually mean they were trying to kill the crowd with noise.

As the night wore on, I found myself lost in the kaleidoscopic visions of “Roses On The Window.”  Images that varied from screaming faces to blood to strange patterns characterized the accompanying light show — at one point something resembling a Bernstein Bear mixed with Alf played across the 24 identical skulls lining the walls of the Triple Rock. The band itself was cast in shadow, allowing viewers to fully absorb the gaze of the animated dead objects.

The eeriness continued as drummer Jeremy Hyman tried to bash his drum set’s brains out with multiple stick casualties and keyboardist Angel Deradoorian mentioned the horror movie “Serbian Film” (which the band seems to take direction from).

After a voracious desire for an encore, the crowd was treated to the re-entrance of the murderous trio. Honestly, the spectacle was so mesmerizing that the band could have found the brown note and no one would have cared. Avey controlled the stage so adeptly, no one could leave until the final chord was played and the spell was broken, leaving attendants to wander back into the night with no intense clamor for direction.