In recent years, Deer Tick has earned a reputation as a sort of Jekyll and Hyde live act. On any given night, fans might find the rock band playing a set of ear-splitting barroom brawlers, only to be followed by an encore of chill, mostly acoustic music. And although the band is undeniably good at playing both styles of music, the stark juxtaposition of the two sounds has sometimes been awkward.
Deer Tick might have found the solution to that problem at Pickathon 2017.
At the three-day festival, the group, fronted by John McCauley and Ian O’Neil, fully embraced this ethos by performing two distinct shows on separate stages. On Friday, the band dug into an all-electric set. It was loud, grimy and easily one of the best performances at the festival. But on Saturday night at the Woods Stage, Deer Tick gave one of the most memorable Pickathon performances. Clad in goofy, matching red shirts and in surprisingly good spirits for a band that only 24 hours earlier had sneered their way through smoke and guitar solos, Deer Tick meandered through a marvelous hour of stories and oddball folk rock music complete with acoustic guitars, mandolin and even a bouzouki. This rendition of “Card House” from the band’s “Deer Tick Vol. 1” album was a clear standout.
Every month this year, opbmusic and NPR Music will present another song recorded live at the Pickathon Woods Stage. These videos are hand-picked by opbmusic to showcase some of festival’s most exciting performances. Look for the next premiere in late March.
Pickathon returns Aug. 3-5 at Pendarvis Farm just outside Portland, Oregon, with a lineup that features Broken Social Scene, Shakey Graves, Jamila Woods, and Built To Spill.
The Pickathon Woods Series was made possible by support from Klean Kanteen.