I can remember when I fell in love with Deafheaven - it would have been just around 2011 when I was making yet another feeble attempt at starting a gym habit. This time involved me leeching off my parent’s current membership and lazily attempting to slowly jog or walk fractions of a mile around the indoor track that this gym had. I hadn’t yet really dialed in what made good music for doing this, but as this was one of the periods of my life where I was more interesting in exploring metal, that’s what I happened to be giving a shot this particular day.
Sometime around my third or fourth loop of the track, the intro to Unrequited started playing. If you’re not familiar with the track, it has one of the slowest opens of their work, but it comes to a very abrupt and very heavy stop at about 2 minutes in, coming together in this massive explosion of sound and noise that quite sharply contrasts the post-rock intro right before it. Little did I know that this mostly unremarkable moment in other aspects of my life would end up being sort of a monolithic, rock-solid memory that I am unable to forget.
Across Sunbather, New Bermuda and Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, and across several performances (and one particularly satisfying encore play of Unrequited at The Majestic), I’ve maintained a devout following of their work, which is not to say that I agree with all the musical choices they’ve made (Baby Blue is still an incredibly awkward track), but to say that I’ve never lost sight of my love for this band, the music they make, and their (in my opinion) unwavering pursuit of their own artistic ambitions.
I say all this to convey that this show was the crystallization of something very important for me. When I picked up a camera in 2016 on a whim, never in my wildest dreams did I think that it would somehow coalesce into both an incredibly important release for me and as a way to experience and interact with some of my musical idols. There have been many, many shows in the short time I’ve been doing this, but I’m creating this page and this blurb to signify that there has never been a show quite as special as this one to me. I hope as time passes I continue to improve and push myself even further with what I am doing without ever sacrificing the reason that I do it. In the meantime, let this album stand as a flag somewhere in the continuum of my life as a moment that I fulfilled a dream.