KCRW Sundance Showcase: Wild Cub, Sondre Lerche, Dan Deacon

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Keegan DeWitt of Wild Cub
Keegan DeWitt of Wild Cub by Mark Leibowitz

KCRW wrapped up three nights of music showcases at Sundance Film Festival with a party that temporarily shut down Main Street in Park City.

The evening began with the infectious electro pop of Wild Cub. Most of the band had just arrived from Nashville and were getting hustled onto a plane right after the show to go make their network television debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (on the release day for their full length “Youth” on Mom + Pop Records. Singer Keegan Dewitt was already at Sundance to support two scores he composed for featured films “Good Life” (a doc for HBO) and “This Is Martin Bonner” (a narrative in the NEXT category).

The band is super tight in the live performances and ready to take over the world. I could easily see them having a huge crossover pop hit, particularly with Thunder Clatter and “Colours”. (They even threw in a cover of Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers”).

Sondre Lerche by Mark Leibowitz
Sondre Lerche pre-show portrait by Mark Leibowitz

Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche – who currently lives in Brooklyn – took the stage solo with a guitar and put in an amazing performance, including some brand new tracks (“Lucifer”, “Violent Game”) that may or may not end up on his new album. His voice is simply incredible and his set gave me a whole new appreciation for this artist, who has consistently put out great music over many years.

He even took on the track “Palindromes”, from the score to the film “Sleepwalkers”, directed by his ex-wife Mona Fastvold. It was his first time playing the song live and he even got the crowd to sing along (a feat at ANY show).

The recorded song is haunting and atmospheric but hearing a crowd sing “whisk away, the dark of day” felt almost meditative.Dan Dea

Sundance Film Festival KCRW
Dan Deacon portrait by Mark Leibowitz
Dan Deacon in action by Mark Leibowitz
Dan Deacon in action by Mark Leibowitz

Dan Deacon —who I can best describe as a crazy wizard genius / motivational speaker / rabble rouser — set his DJ rig on the dancefloor (as opposed to the stage) and led the crowd of 200 people through a series of bonding exercises until we all were one massive blob of dancing maniacs.

This included having everyone build a human tunnel (London bridge style) that went across the street and back again, temporarily shutting down traffic on Main St to the chagrin of many taxi drivers. The only rules, which Deacon yelled (even though he’d lost his voice): leave your drinks in the bar and safety first! It was an epic experience that we will all remember.

(Note: Adrian Grenier and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom were among the folks taking part, which made it even more absurdly wonderful.)