Deastro plays lively café show

Jamie Cartwright

While many students shared a litter box at Beta’s Beach Bash or discovered the true recreational spirits of ORC at the America party last Saturday, others found true musical artistry in the Warch Campus Center Café. Sponsored by LU’s Band Booking Committee, the synth-heavy Detroit band Deastro brought a show that was both entertaining and impressive.
Deastro was particularly well received, especially after the disappointing opening duo from Chicago, Geographers. Also based on a synthesizer-heavy industrial rock style, Geographers gave a show that was reminiscent of a typical high school “emo band” with an electronic twist.
Their vocals were weak and did not contain a strong sense of melody, while the music, in general, seemed repetitive and uninventive. The creativity and holistic quality present in Deastro was nowhere to be found in the opening act, and the crowd heaved a collective sigh of relief when Geographers finally turned over the stage to Deastro.
First off, when performing for an audience like the one in the café, it’s highly important to play two parts: the musician and the entertainer. At Saturday’s performance, the guitarist, drummer and bass player took the musician role while lead singer Randolph Chabot embodied the entertainer role.
From the beginning of the show, Chabot had very little voice to sing with, and although he quietly carried the lyrics through the performance, his role soon became the joke- and story-telling front man. Utilizing a little bit of dark humor with personal stories, he effectively carried the performance between songs and kept the audience attentive and amused.
Chabot’s best joke of the night? A mildly offensive groaner about hipsters: “Why do all hipsters have AIDS? Because it’s a retro virus.”
Meanwhile, the band played some superb tunes. Delicately balancing synthesizer with a reverb-heavy electric guitar sound, Deastro effectively draws from bands like Joy Division, Muse and Radiohead while really bringing something new to the table.
Chabot’s smoky singing voice was almost unnoticed in the face of the catchy, fast-moving songs, but this by no means detracted from the songs. The band blended popular, easygoing pop sounds with interesting, almost experimental musicality. From the first song, Deastro brought audience members to their feet, and dancing quickly ensued.
Deastro has been growing in popularity and recognition since their beginning in Detroit in the mid-2000s. They’ve released three albums and several EPs, all of which are available on popular digital music stores like iTunes and Rhapsody. Although they have a long way to go, Deastro seems to be the type of band that could really make it big as they move from a regional level to a national presence.
Look for more concerts from BBC coming this winter term, but in the meantime, check out SOUP’s weekly Coffeeshop Series in the café.