San Francisco Band Geographer Hypnotizes Long Beach At Federal Underground Show • Long Beach Post


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The Federal Underground opened the vault Wednesday night for a flawless performance from major touring band Geographer, a show that may be a precursor for bigger shows at the continually evolving, all-ages venue.

Attendees first accumulated underground as Long Beach’s seven-piece, high-energy psych band Wild Pack of Canaries warmed up the audience with their first show together in a while, utilizing keyboard, saxophone, trumpet, drums, guitar, bass and featuring singe Rudy De Anda’s unintelligible, yet intriguing vocals.

Although the Federal Underground was packed with people by the time Geographer took the stage, their music immediately created an airy feeling that felt cooler than most other shows would. The San Francisco-based electronic indie band–comprised of multi-instrumentalist Mike Deni, cellist and electronist Nathan Blaz and drummer Brian Ostreicher–created an energy that was appropriately hushed, allowing each attendee their own pocket of air in which to sway and bounce to the intoxicating music.

After seeing them live, it’s quite obvious that Deni is the centerpiece of the band. Although he consistently thanked the audience for coming out and insisted that Long Beach was “really a special show,” his palpable ego soaked through his vintage jean jacket so much that he took it off and played the rest of the show in a tank top, shaking his bouncy curls in his ruggedly grown pompadour haircut as he stepped to the front of the stage with each of his different instruments in between belting flawless lyrics.

Needless to say, Deni’s ego does not go unwarranted. Geographer is known for vocals that, for lack of a better word, are absolutely beautiful. Deni’s high-pitched voice lingers on subdued tones and has no reservations about venturing into the high falsetto range, with transitions that obviously require lots of conditioning, smooth as milk and honey.

However, the entire band exhibits that they are well-seasoned artists. Partly due to the fact that the cello replaces a guitar and much of the musical presence comes from synths, mini keyboards and a powerful drummer, the stage is kept extremely clean and transitions between songs and instruments were anything but clunky. Rather than taking swigs of PBR between sets, the band sipped on tiny plastic water cups, their professionalism radiating a cool air of exuberance that only enhanced their music and the energy in the room.

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While their most recent album, Myth, isn’t much to scream about, they made sure to play all the older fan favorites including “Verona,” “Kites,” and “Original Sin,” and even graced the crowd with two songs from their unreleased upcoming album.

As can be predicted from listening to their albums, there is lots of track looping involved. There was even a moment after Deni finished playing a mini saxophone solo during their version of “Walk On The Moon” that the saxophone still continued to play, unchanged, in the background; during other parts of the show Deni’s voice would echo behind him as he focused on a different instrument. However, he was able to create synth loops on stage while he sang, switching frequently between string, electronic and percussion.

Geographer’s performance of “Walk on the Moon” was one of the most dynamic parts of the show; the poppy song was punctuated by stimulating drumming while the melodic foundation of the cello kept the crowd swaying.

As the band’s final sounds wafted through the former bank vault in one of its largest non-local shows to date, hands were lifted, eyes were closed—the audience was hypnotized.

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