Hosting an intimate gathering of fans and friends at Spoke Cafe in Los Angeles, Geographer ended his nearly three-year hiatus from the stage with a release show for his newest album Down and Out in the Garden of Earthly Delights. Michael Deni, the synth-pop wizard behind the project, performed a number of songs off the album including the riveting anthem “Peripheral Vision” and “Alibi,” two of its singles. Whether he was shouldering his guitar, blaring along to one of his ever blissful sax solos, or just dancing his fingers across the keyboard to create the lush synth rushes that fill his songs, Deni was quick to remind fans of the potency of Geographer’s soundscapes.
As fans ate and drank, gathering closer and closer to the lone and illuminated figure of Deni on the small stage, there was a surrealness attached to the night thanks to the shared length of time most people have gone without attending such an event. By now most have felt the shock that comes with resuming attendance to live events, but the intimacy of the release show and Deni’s warmth as an entertainer were soothing, to say the least. Always ready with a quip to elicit some laughter from the crowd and gushing with gratitude at the many people present who made the release of his newest album possible, Deni’s mood between songs was as infectious as the actual kinetics of his music. And after seeing Deni play through the album’s many, many jams, it’s hard not to feel a little giddy about catching Geographer back on tour when they make their official return to the stage.