DIY Digest: Doe Deer at DC9

Posted on Posted in Concert Review

BY TORI SWIACKI// On Tuesday, August 28 Doe Deer accompanied Thin Lips and Slaughter Beach, Dog at DC9 Nightclub.

Guitarist Matt describing his fine selection of homemade sauces for sale as band merch.

Doe Deer, based out of Fredericksburg, VA has been no stranger to the DC music scene, having played Songbyrd one week prior. Frontman Nabeel attributes some of Doe Deer’s success in DC to his time spent in the DMV DIY scene, looking upon of it more as a community, noting its inclusive nature. Beginning with humble roots, Nabeel recorded the earliest tracks as a solo project using a built-in laptop microphone and a small amp. He describes this minimalist setup, saying, “I didn’t have much experience, so I was kind of just playing around with the recordings until I figured out how to make it sound somewhat tolerable.” The result, December 2016’s “Sports,” was more than bearable, delivering a soft, nostalgic sound sprinkled with ambient sounds as seen in the ninth track, “waves.” Think: Starry Cat, or, more specifically, Teen Suicide’s “no, the moon,” or “Letterman” by foozle.

Bassist Paul and frontman Nabeel in preparing for a face-melting breakdown.

Having transitioned to a full band in October 2017, bringing on drummer Forrest, bassist Paul and guitarist Matt, Doe Deer’s sound has certainly transitioned into something fuller. The life performance sounded to me to have a sprinkling of instrumental breakdowns reminiscent of Title Fight, plus surf rock pithiness and a healthy dosage of lo-fi fuzz. With tracks like “Pills,” and “Tennis,” Doe Deer had the eager MOBO crowd bobbing their heads Tuesday night.

Doe Deer soundchecking.

During soundcheck, Paul and Matt both checked their respective microphones, in the name of stage banter. And indeed, stage banter was delivered, covering topics ranging from whether or not members of the crowd could swim (see: Doe Deer’s 2016 track “swimmer“) and even Matt’s homemade pickles and sauces that were being sold as band merch. There was quite a bit to talk about, including controversial Twitter beef that frontman Nabeel started over MOBO’s “Sports” and Doe Deer’s “Sports.” Despite this being Doe Deer’s first appearance at DC9, the band was certainly comfortable in entertaining the crowd while they tuned.

Bassist Paul all smiles before the set begins.

You can catch Doe Deer on September 22nd with Slow Hollows at Songbyrd, or @doedeermusic on Twitter.

All photos by Tori Swiacki (@pithypeach on Instagram).

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