Geographer At The El Rey – ‘Back On The Map’

Geographer live

Los Angeles – Electronic rock trio Geographer performed to a bouncy crowd on Saturday night at The El Rey. They’ve embarked on this small headlining tour in order to introduce new songs off their forthcoming third LP, Ghost Modern due out in March. This marks the San Francisco band’s first material since 2012’s Myth. No matter which songs were played, old or new, the crowd appeared eager to be reunited with their seemingly beloved band which features Michael Deni on vocals/synthesizer, Nathan Blaz on guitar/keyboard, and Brian Ostreicher on drums.

Deni’s soft, falsetto vocals were on target throughout the entire performance. Blaz’s expansive guitar work and Ostreicher’s effervescent drumbeats complimented the vocals on display as well. What Geographer was delivering infatuated those in attendance because the supply they were sharing was quite emotionally potent. The band played a total of 15 songs, showcasing six brand new tunes that pointed into new terrain for a group that crafts indelible electro-pop. From what I’ve heard, the direction Geographer is heading down is the one I am suddenly most thrilled for this year.

Geographer started with “I’m Ready,” the new single off Ghost Modern. This warm rhapsody features honeyed melodies and the sweet cello sound. Deni’s most powerful instrument is his benign vocals that are utterly distinctive. He passionately announces the words, “I’m Ready,” and this opening track couldn’t be more apt to kick off the night. The band quickly sped things up with one of the fan favorites, “Verona.” The hypnotic drum tapping, the escalating beats, and the emotional catharsis in Deni’s lyrics added up to one of the best songs Geographer has created. “Lover’s Game” followed and kept the upbeat momentum thriving. The intoxicatingly catchy drumbeat and insanely buoyant synth beat kept all eyes and ears on Geographer.

With so much perfection heard already, what else did the trio have in store? For starters they switched things up to play their second new song of the night, “Need.” The beat was darker and deeper than previous outings. The song seemed much larger in scale than anything the band’s ever produced. The blending of Deni’s airy vocals and all-encompassing synths is a strong indication that Geographer’s new record could be their finest. Concertgoers were swept away with “Too Much,” the highlight song of the night. It had a slower tempo to start things off, but broke into something truly magnificent. The 80s drumbeat and atmospheric synths alongside Deni’s gentle voice create a particular mood that had the audience lost in reverie. The finishing stretch of the song took flight and soared euphorically. While crowd favorites like “Can’t You Wait” and “Paris” had the audience and band in familiar territory, the newer tracks were the major attraction as they showed a richer, wiser, and even more developed resonance for a band that continues to craft terrific music.

The conclusive song of the night was “Falling Apart.” It’s their latest one and it certainly brings a whole new degree of awesome to Geographer. The musing tune is another skillful track with delicate arrangements and a heartbreaking cello in the mix. Geographer isn’t relying on wild, frantic noises but a peaceful, tender structure to enchant the audience on this closing encore song. The graceful conclusion felt like a fairy tale coming to a sweet ending. It many ways the show played out that very same way—a performance fueled by touching sentiments by a band taking their creative artistry to the next level without sacrificing their original sound that has won over the minds and hearts of their current fan base.

Check out Geographer on Facebook for more information about their current tour and the release of their third record, Ghost Modern, out March 24 via Roll Call Records.
Sean Kayden

Sean Kayden

His father has always been an avid fan of 70s and 80s artists. He introduced Sean at an early age to the likes of many rock groups of that era. In the late 90s, Sean acquired a fondness for the likes of such alternative bands as Smashing Pumpkins, Goo Goo Dolls, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. In high school, he gravitated towards artists like Brand New, Saves The Day, and Fall Out Boy. As Sean entered California State University Fullerton, where he earned his BA in Radio/TV/Film, his music taste expanded to the realm of Broken Social Scene, The National, and Death Cab For Cutie. For as long as Sean can remember, he has always had the desire of launching his own stories that would someday be presented through television, film, and print. This form of expression continuously uplifts his spirit. Sean is a certified TRX fitness trainer and teaches group classes as well.
Sean Kayden

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