Geographer, the synth-pop/indie-rock project of Mike Deni, stopped over at the Fillmore as part of his Alone Time Tour. Deni is currently backed by Joyce Lee on cello and Cody Rhodes on drums, and a rockin’ light show. 

Seeing Geographer live is hypnotic. He tends to loop his gorgeously melodic songs and play with their structures, and when paired with Lee’s cello and lights bathing the stage, it’s incredibly immersive. Even though the crowd admittedly was most likely there to hear his more mainstream New Order cover, he got the crowd moving with a few dance hall-esque tracks- I’ve definitely seen the Fillmore more crowded, but a sea of enthusiastically bobbing heads filled the pit that night.

Geographer in its most recent touring iteration definitely has chemistry, with a tight sound and easy plays off of each other. In a sweet, memorable gesture, Deni gave a shoutout to cellist Lee- this was to be her last show with Geographer, as she was noticeably VERY pregnant, and this expectant mama absolutely killed it onstage. Seeing badass pregnant women rocking a live show is crazy empowering, especially when gracefully owning the beach-ball sized obstruction they’re working with- M.I.A at the GRAMMY’s, anyone? Gives a sista hope! Rhodes’ drumming is tons of fun to watch as well- he brings effusive energy to Deni’s beats as well as a rad game face. 

Honorable mentions- who knew how much of a bro culture surrounded Geographer? Friends who were at the show, please don’t take offense, unless you were one of the hordes of wannabe-hipster dudes that permeate SF and now the Fillmore. This is not necessarily a negative, as I am never one to turn down a good opportunity to people watch some Patagonia vests flirt with each other indoors! Also, when I say the show was hypnotic, I mean it- this sleep-deprived nonprofit music school director nodded off more than once. In post-show convos, my fully rested friends reported no such reaction.

Overall, Geographer truly has a talent for curating a lovely show, and it is a genuine pleasure to see him live. I hear Deni is off making the move from SF to LA- he’ll be missed, and we’re excited to see were the City of Angels brings his career.


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