Few high-profile musicians could disappear into the SXSW crowd as seamlessly as Dan Deacon, who doesn't exactly cut a lithe, otherworldly, Mick Jagger-esque figure offstage. But everything about his set at Stubb's on Wednesday night was a raving, raging bundle of surprises: Deacon puts on some of the most rivetingly unpredictable, oddly interactive concerts in the business, whether he's teaching the crowd how to move in choreographed unison — witness the dance contest that precedes "Konono Ripoff No. 1" — or issuing a long spoken riff that somehow invokes both Avatar and the mom from the movie Big.
Bookended by busy drummers and looming over an array of technology that looks as if it could power a small spacecraft — not to mention a large glowing skull, film projections and a prolific assortment of blinking lights — Deacon serves as ringleader for a ludicrously overdriven orgy of sound. Naturally, lots went wrong along the way, from technical difficulties and language malfunctions to hastily recruited dancers Deacon publicly derided as inadequate. But the calamities aren't so much incidental as integral to a live act that's all about barely contained chaos.
Producers: Amy Schriefer, Robin Hilton; Video by: XI Media; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait