Deer Tick went acoustic for a sold out Free At Noon crowd - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Deer Tick Free at Noon - 11.17.2023

You know that a WXPN Free At Noon show is going to exceed expectations when you see a full crowd swarming around the stage. Preparing for a highly anticipated show at Union Transfer tonight, Deer Tick enraptured the sold out midday crowd with their pleasantly rustic soundscapes, played acoustic before they plug in tonight.

This four-piece Rhode Island based alternative/folk rock band, consisting of frontman singer/guitarist John J. McCauley, bassist Christopher Ryan, guitarist Ian O’Neil, and drummer Dennis Ryan, has been pursuing an exciting musical career since the release of their debut record War Elephant back in 2007. With their newest album Emotional Contrasts receiving critical acclaim, and the launch of their tour, excitement is high for these music vets to be on the road.

McCauley won over the audience immediately, offering a warm welcome as they dive into their leading track off of Emotional Contrasts, “If I Try To Leave.” The group took on their musical roles with a simultaneous heavy focus and tranquil ease. Christopher Ryan sat criss-crossed on his stool, gently plucking at his bass strings while McCauley filled the room with his raspy, soulful vocals. Dennis Ryan thrummed away on a set of bongos, producing light and airy rhythms. O’Neil’s twangy strums on his acoustic guitar resonated warmly, curating that comforting folksy sound that Deer Tick is known and loved for.

About halfway through the set, following impressive performances of their serenely melodic new songs “My Ship” and “Forgiving Ties,” McCauley’s guitar strap snapped on stage. Luckily, he came prepared with two extra acoustic guitars waiting by his side, and earned a laugh when joking “it’s like a real rock and roll show.” Deer Tick graciously took a crowd suggestion for their next song, and decided on their classic hit “Baltimore Blues No. 1.”

While every song they played was outstanding, their hauntingly acoustical rendition of “Running From Love” was particularly stirring. Dennis Ryan took over the mic with his deep and dynamic vocals as the audience transcended from what was once the World Cafe Live stage to a mystical aura of woodlands. The song progressed with a huge build up of emotions as Dennis Ryan began belting, fusing beautifully with harmonies from Christopher Ryan and McCauley.

To end their Free At Noon set on a high, Deer Tick takes a step back in time to play the crowd favorite tune “These Old Shoes” off of War Elephants. This bluesy masterpiece had the dedicated fans in the crowd scream along with the band during the song’s emotional peak. With their passionate strumming and harmonized chants, it was the perfect song to close off the midday show.

Deer Tick
Free At Noon
  • If I Try To Leave
  • My Ship
  • Forgiving Ties
  • Baltimore Blues No. 1
  • Running From Love
  • Disgrace
  • Once In A Lifetime
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