Alex Birch, Contributing Writer
Doe deer, Plastic Nancy and Toward Space played a house show in a small, crowded Oregon Hill apartment called Plastic Palace Nov. 9.
Doe deer is a four-piece band based out of Fredericksburg, Virginia, composed of Nabeel Mirza on vocals and guitar, guitarist Matt Leibowitz, Paul King on bass and drummer Forrest Fallon. They describe their sound as somewhere between jangly surf pop and lo-fi.
Most of the inspiration for their music comes from underground indie bands and much of their sound can be attributed to the lead singer’s vocal style.
“Some Teen Suicide, maybe some Quarterbacks. We just try to match Nabeel’s energy,” King said.
With the exception of Fallon, the band is still in college, with Leibowitz, King and Mirza finishing up their senior year at University of Mary Washington, where they all originally met. While they were friends for some time, doe deer’s current lineup only recently came to fruition. Their first live performance was at the Songbyrd Music House in Washington, D.C. at the end of August.
“We opened for a solo act. I guess they didn’t realize how loud we were,” Mirza said. “We also almost sold out a DC9 show opening for Slaughter Beach. It’s been interesting.”
Doe deer has never played a show in Fredericksburg — and does not expect to in the future. They have performed in Richmond a few times, but the majority of their performances take place in D.C.
“The Fredericksburg music scene died … they got all these new noise ordinances,” Leibowitz said. “So no house shows, and even the parties get shut down by 9:30. So kids at UMW have no reason to stay in Fredericksburg over the weekend.”
Doe deer wants to go on a tour up and down the U.S. with Plastic Nancy, another band that performed at the Plastic Palace and also the owners of the house.
Local four-piece band Plastic Nancy is comprised of lead vocalist and guitar player Sam Schneider, drummer Brian Albertson, John DeGarmo on guitar, and bassist Mike Reyes. They define their sound as their own flavor of psychedelic rock, taking inspiration from “the confusion of existence, and the profound disorientation that comes from being alive.”
They also cite major influences from iconic ‘60s musicians, such as the Beatles, Neil Young and the Grateful Dead, which led to their peculiar name.
“There’s this band from the ‘60s, kind of a folk-psychedelic band called Love,” Schneider said. “On their most famous record they had a song lyric that went ‘Plastic Nancy, she’s so fancy.’ And I felt that captured the influence of that era in our music.”
Plastic Nancy’s performance lived up to their influences with a wall of skull-crushing sound, and even played some new material for the first time. Doe deer followed with a stellar performance combining tight playing with rock ‘n’ roll showmanship. A highlight of their set was Mirza leaning backward into the frenzied crowd, relying on their support as he blazed through a crunching riff on guitar. The last act, Toward Space, was by all accounts just as lightning-packed.
Doe deer is in the process of re-recording old material and hope to release an album with new songs by New Years. Plastic Nancy also plan on releasing an album soon, but no hard date has been announced. Toward Space released an album in September, which is available on all music streaming services.