On the night of October 7th, 2010, an eclectic crowd discusses festivals and shows of past in the brisk fall mountain air of Boulder Colorado. Crowds began pouring into the beautiful Fox Theater as Brothers Past has begun to wrap up the last half of their set. Deep trance beats fueled by funky vibes, high pitched vocals, and high energy was met with a howling departing ovation from the crowd. With the audience warmed up, people began shifting into their respective places in anticipation of the of a long standing crowd favorite, the New Deal.
The well-known, touring giant, the New Deal has been energizing crowds, moving feet, and bobbing heads since 1999. Out of Toronto, Ontario the three piece electronica band is comprised of drummer Darren Shearer, bass guitarist Dan Kurtz, and keyboardist Jamie Shields. Their live music is eerily similar to a DJ spinning beats and composing electric melodies but, keyboardist Jamie Shields exclusively plays live, never looping any tracks. Each song is an original piece of art forged for the sake of any particular night.
Opening in complete darkness, the New Deal began with a mellow beat which evolved seamlessly into an excellent techno-inspired rock riff. An extended riff/pluck dropping straight into a mellow reggae dub sound showcased the New Deal's dynamic sound. What follows is an extended jam session showcasing the New Deal's broad range of musical talent. Upon a break between jams, bassist Dan Kurtz announces that he has the full intention to fuel a full on a Thursday night dance party, he achieves just that. What resembles the sound of a finely played mouth harp, the keyboardist Jamie Shields drops the foundation for the next jam. With the tiny blonde girl next to me roaring with the magnitude of a burly lumber jack heaving his heavy axe, I knew it was going to be a good night. The first set was filled with wicked riffs, movement, and a high energy mix of rapid and mellow rhythms set by Darren Shearer. For me, a quality show is generally based on crowd reception and participation, the New Deal achieved just that. The band's overall stage-presence was fun and lighthearted. Getting personal, and encouraging participation via dance got the crowd moving as a single organism; dancing, bouncing, and fist pumping as one.
The second set ended with the crowd going wild in anticipation of an encore. The lights remained off as the band quickly reformed to deliver the goods. Energetic beats had the house rocking and everyone moving their feet. Wrapping up the show, bassist Dan Kurtz, and drummer Darren Shearer stay on stage shaking hands with members of the audience and graciously thanking everyone for showing up. Good, positive vibes were the highlight of the show which provided the audience a perfect opportunity to dance into the late hours of the night. Offering fans a tangled web of rock-infused electronica, there is no doubt why the New Deal has met so much success and attracts so many loyal followers from all over the country.