Wed. July 30
The Village Tavern
Deerhunter's show at the Village Tavern simultaneously renewed hope for great indie rock shows in town and greatly increased anticipation for their new album Microcastle (Kranky), due in October.
Buffing their sound to a heavenly distortion/feedback sheen, frontman Bradford Cox and company created an admirable amount of beautiful noise and kept the spirit of classic shoegaze band My Bloody Valentine alive. They never lost the crowd's attention, despite playing a majority of new songs, including brand new '80s post-punk groove "Operation" — a song "recorded just last night," according to the disarmingly friendly Cox. They particularly rewarded ears with the set-closing outro to another new one, "Strange Lights," which featured pretty, chirping harmonics on top of noisy Mogwai-esque squall.
Given Charleston's criminally lackluster attendance record at too many recent indie rock shows, it was fantastic to see a great band rewarded with a full room at the Tavern. —John Edward Royall
Nas, Talib Kweli
Wed. July 30
The Music Farm
People waited outside in two lines that wrapped around the door. Security patted everyone down. Girls' purses were inspected. It took forever to get in. Opening act Jay Electronica mingled outside with a pimp cane.
Once I got in, Talib Kweli was playing "I Try," his song with Mary J. Blige. Talib was ripping it — literally tearing the mic to shreds.
Headliner Nas took a long time to get on stage (people started booing), but once he got on, his performance was flawless. His profound style was way more hardcore than Talib's. A storyteller and a poet, he did his radio hits, songs from his first CD, and a clip of "Ether" (his famous duel where he squashes Jay Z). Nas stayed on stage for longer than he was supposed to because the crowd was loving it so much. It was balls to the walls. —Alison Sher