The room darkens and the sound of rain drops crackle from the speakers. Dean Blunt entered the stage in darkness, wandering back and forth in a cowboy hat barely visible.
I’m not sure whether or not he was scoping out the audience, setting the scene for the show or just making sure everyone is paying attention. The room is full with smoke, and its cold. There still seems to be a few conversations and sounds near the bar before the rain drops finally caught the audience’s attention. Standing there, I felt uncomfortable, waiting patiently as the anticipation built.
After some time a light appeared on stage and Dean Blunt steps in. It felt like theatre.
He begins with The Pedigree. String synths, high hats and drum kick thuds: “Call me when your heart is empty, happy we can still be friends…” His voice is sometimes determined, angry/bitter, full of nervous energy. Then suddenly soft and vulnerable, clutching his arms to his body as if wounded he takes us through his personal tales.
He was joined onstage at times by a trumpet accompaniment or with Joanne Robertson’s guitar, her vocals are sweet yet yearning. The contrast between these tender periods of solitude are broken up by the fuzzy Fleetwood Mac sounds from The Redeemer, or an answer machine recording from a mystery woman. The femme fatale? You are drawn into his story.
Suddenly it stopped abruptly and strobe lights flickered, speeding up aggressively from behind. Pulsating to a sinewave, increasing the intensity in volume and frequency. Theres no escape from this experience; its interesting to see and hear how everyone reacts. Rather than bow my head or cover my face. I listened, and view the patterns inside my eyelids. Was this just a spectacle, or a cataclysmic ending?
After a undeterminable amount of time, the sensory experience was over. Joanne Robertson plays us out with a wonderful solo on her guitar. Heart wrenching reverb and her soothing voice. The crowd disperses, nervous and confused as to whether its over or not. A worthy finish to a great year of performances for Deep Hedonia, and a great experience I wont forget.