Photo: Tina Ballew via YouTube

If you know who Dan Deacon is outside of his viral “Drinkin’ Outta Cups” sketch-rant, then you’ve heard of his infamous live show: a highly-interactive, all-inclusive indie dance party that just about everyone describes as “amazing,” even if they’re not huge fans of his music. Naturally, any opinion this ubiquitous needs consistent testing.

Before the opening acts had even wrapped up, the club had begun its transformation into a sweat lodge, priming the audience for lead-off track “Sheathed Wings.” Deacon wasted little time on his interactive dance party agenda — the following “Mind on Fire” began the spotlight circle.

A lusciously-locked attention fiend refused to leave the circle after being asked politely by Deacon in order to make way for some well-costumed folks, and the song was later stopped due to technical difficulties, thanks to poor club ventilation. None of that could derail his positive energy, though. Deacon was quite quick on his feet and all of his crowd was accommodating.

He pulled out his renowned shtick, splitting the crowd in two, and letting single audience members lead each half in simple dances on “When I Was Done Dying” (Gliss Riffer’s sleeper hit). The two-chord simplicity of the track is coupled with a long-form lyrical story of enlightening rebirth, meant to warm listener’s souls from within:

When I Was Done Dying

Both these group exercises probably made the average attendee feel remarkably aware of their own awkwardness at first. However, this hyper-awareness quickly turns to awkwardness-apathy, followed by shattered limitations. After these tracks, Deacon flew through his “USA” opus and continued beyond with strobe-lit, live-band-backed, wall-of-noise euphoria peaking on notable hits like “Learning to Relax.” By the time he had us all raising our hands in the air and joining them with our neighbors’, no one hesitated.

Simply put, Deacon still lives up to the hype. Basically he has fine tuned a rave that doesn’t require drugs to enjoy. Deacon’s sound itself was killer as well — his sugary, intense brand of distorted dance isn’t for everybody’s personal headphone use, but it’s super-infectious in a live atmosphere. If nothing else, he proved that while cynicism has its limits, honest enthusiasm might not. The dude is good vibes incarnate.