Deer Tick @ The Strand In York, PA
Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center
October 15, 2011
We’ve covered Deer Tick many times here at TSI. But last night’s show at the Strand Capital Theater in York, PA was definitely my personal favorite performance so far. Maybe it’s because all of the other times I’ve seen them play it’s been in a festival atmosphere, or I was too busy to running around working as part of the TSI Mobile Team at these fests to really have the chance to stop and listen to Deer Tick for more that 10 minutes. But either way, this show made me love Deer Tick even more.
When we arrived, we met some friends outside who said they were taking photos of Deer Tick’s van that has a “God Bless Deer Tick” sticker on it. In typical Deer Tick fashion, lead frontman John McCauley comes out of the van to tell them if they are going to take photos of that sticker they would be better with him in them! One thing I do know is how well Deer Tick connects with fans. Our friends all hung out for a minute and bullshitted with John, chatting about past shows and being excited about tonight’s set.
Walking into the venue, I too knew that it was going to be a good night. It was the first time that I had been to the Cap Live Strand Theater and it’s defiantly an awesome place to see a show. I wish there were more of these type of venues still around. It’s a classic old theater with beautiful moldings and detail, theater style seating, and a huge arched stage complete with a rich red curtain back drop. Not to mention, the PA system was was of top quality, which is always a deal breaker for me at shows.
We jumped in line to grab a beer and had just enough time to get down front as Deer Tick took the stage. Even though there was theater style seating, hardly anyone was sitting in the first 20 rows. Everyone was plastered up front, standing at the stage. We at first decided to sit in the 5th row from the stage, but by about the 3rd song it was hard to stay in your seat. Everyone up front was dancing and having a great time, so of course we had to join in.
I really saw Deer Tick in a different light at this show. They were all in suits with John McCauley even sporting a bow tie. Like I mentioned before, I had only seen them in festival settings so they were always dressed in summer atire. From old tracks to new, John and the crew we’re all really tight. They really fucking rocked it more tonight so than I remember at past shows. They boys just really oozed rock n’ roll with foot stomping tracks and stellar multi part harmonies along with the onstage beer slinging and occasional beer slathering spray into the crowd. At one point John even passed his guitar into the crowd for their own banging and shredding enjoyment. But this really took the show to a whole new level and was the icing for me, when a number of fans jumped onto the stage during the last song and again during the encore while the opening act Virgin Forest came back out on stage to join Deer Tick. The boys didn’t miss a beat as fans lifted themselves up onto the 5ft stage and danced behind them like crazy. As the last song ended, fans on stage rushed to hug and shake the hands of the band members and every member of the band was very much into it, greeting and thanking every last one of them as they jumped off the stage back into the crowd.
During the encore John mentioned they’d all be haging out at The White Rose down the street after the show. The White Rose is a local bar/restuartant in York, PA about a block away from the venue. The show ended about 10:30PM, and for a Saturday night this was pretty early, so we all trecked down to the White Rose’s back bar called “Stoogies”. Walking in we found ourselves in a smoke filled dive bar packed with people all there to get down to a great funk and soul cover band that was bringing down the house. We had a beer and about a half hour into our stay, here comes Deer Tick, busting in the door.
They were instantly greeted by friends and fans who were waiting their arrival. The boys grabbed beers and hung out and chatted with everyone in the bar, including my friends who were very happy to hang out with them again, post show.
Deer Tick is really is a modern day Rock-n-Roll band to the T. All the typical clichaes of booze, groupies, cigarettes, and the captivation of their fans while both on stage and off. However, the best thing that makes all the difference, is the boys in Deer Tick make their fans feel like friends. There’s no snottiness, no seclusion, they talk with everyone as they where catching up with old friends by taking photos and even have beers with you after a show. I love that…
Words by: Stephanie Seiple
Photos by: Rich McKie