Dan Deacon / Photo by Fally Afani

For God’s sake, don’t blink (or even take a bathroom break) during a Dan Deacon set… because you’ll likely miss something phenomenal.

In an era where musicians and fans are navigating life after COVID made us live separately, Dan Deacon has mastered the art of togetherness. When the electronic musician played to a very enthusiastic crowd at The Bottleneck on Saturday night, he brought the dance party he’s known for (video below). In a way, it was like training wheels for fans who’d forgotten how to dance, feel the music together, come together as one.

Dan Deacon fans at The Bottleneck / Photo by Fally Afani

The pulsating lights and dance instruction helped (much of his set was spent giving the audience detailed courses on how to from a human bridge or tap each other out for a dance circle), but it was really his charming personality and chattiness that held it together for the duration of the show. He previously stopped by about a decade ago with two drummers in tow. This time, it was just Deacon. Rather than letting the stage swallow him and his table of gear, he brought everyone together in one cohesive and playful affair. It didn’t matter your age or background, everyone was in on it.

Daniel Gum / Photo by Fally Afani

He was joined by Kansas City artist Daniel Gum, who couldn’t write a bad song if he wanted to. His presentation is always a versatile one. Sometimes, like on Saturday night, we’ve seen him going at it solo and breaking our hearts. Other times, he’s rocking out with the band. He’s slowly been creeping onto our “can’t miss” lists with good reason. He’s the closest KC will ever get to having their own Elliott Smith, if Elliott Smith wrote songs about cyberbullying. His music is endearing, genuine, and heartfelt– and it’s a refreshing welcome from some of the guardedness musicians built up during the pandemic.

Photos from the night below, after the video of one of the dance challenges:



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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