Dan Bejar played a surprisingly good solo set as Destroyer at the Biltmore in spite of a loud, drunken audience. Accompanying himself with only an acoustic guitar, Bejar drew heavily on his back catalogue, including a good mix of old favourites such as “Beggars Might Ride” with his stronger new material like “Foam Hands.”
Though Bejar is usually known more for his skills as a songwriter than a live performer, over the years he has gained confidence in his ability in front of an audience. Though he may never have the stage presence to rival legendary performers such as the oft-cited-Destroyer-mentor David Bowie or even New-Pornos bandmate Neko Case, the man can play a solid set. Bejar had a few tricks up his sleeve to win his audience over, such as playing a short cover of one of his greatest New Pornographers songs, “Streets of Fire,” and pausing to take a request in the middle of the set.
For all his ability, there was no winning over some of the crowd, as there was a steady stream of bar room chatter throughout the set, which Bejar was unable to completely drown out with his guitar. This might have been accomplished if he had a full backing band, but in spite of that he still managed to elicit an encore, in which he closed the night with the classic from Your Blues, “Don’t Become The Thing You Hated.”
Faring a bit better with the crowd noise were the Shilohs who played a tight set that drew heavily on influences of ‘60s folk rock bands. They were easily the rockingest act of the night and turned quite a few heads during their set.
Attics & Cellars warmed the crowd up with some charming baroque pop incorporating cello and violins into every song. It sounded lovely and it was worth the effort of showing up on time just to see them.