DESTROYER: Steely Dan Bejar Hits The Road (Photos/Review)

Dan Bejar, Destroyer, pic by Mikala Taylor/

I admit it, I stole the headline from a friend of a friend.

But it was true. On the first night of its North American tour, Dan Bejar’s Destroyer was teetering into Fagen and Beckerville – a sort of chilled out community where music is a balm, sounds nice, has jazz sax. Yeah, Destroyer is a little light on the actual destroying and heavy on the airy compositions and blended arrangements.

From the get-go (“Chinatown”) at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, hometown boy Bejar stood, almost inert, in a pair of red trousers, and padded about in loafers, hands in his leather jacket pocket. Rocking the “Is-he-stoned-I-don’t-think-so-maybe?” kinda look, when Bejar wasn’t shuffling about, he was kneeling down to sort through which one of three beers to drink. And also looking like he was a bit put out by having to be on stage. But that’s Bejar. And that’s what you get. He’s slackadaiscal. It kinda works.

Still, sparks of life came through during the Kaputt-thick set. “Blue Eyes”, “Savage Night at the Opera”, “Downtown,” “Suicide Demo for Kara Walker”, “Kaputt” and “Song for America” all factored from album number nine and his seven-person band propped up the choons. It sounded…really nice. Yeah, nice. Fine. Pretty. You know.

Yet at the end of “It’s Gonna Take An Airplane”, Bejar awoke. Trumpet player JP Carter (a remarkable addition) was fiddling with some effects knobs and fed a nice little loop through the outro. Bejar turned, nodding his head in approval and grinned wide. Other signs of movement came around “Certain Things You Oughta Know” and in “3000 Flowers”, during which Bejar needed to read his own lyrics off a piece of paper.  “Painter in Your Pocket” from Destroyer’s Rubies, also sounded groovy.

And by groovy, I mean, if you’re okay (I’m okay! Are you okay?) with being trapped listening to hipster elevator music, then fuck yeah, Destroyer! \m/

3 responses to “DESTROYER: Steely Dan Bejar Hits The Road (Photos/Review)”

  1. I really wanted to love Destroyer but I just felt sort of… whelmed. Would have been cool to see them somewhere like the Waldorf Tiki lounge!

  2. Totally, right? I felt like Bejar was going over his own grocery shopping list in his head the whole time….sorta phoning it in.

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