Such contrasts were not unexpected. While “Kaputt’’ has its Steely Dan and Gerry Rafferty moments, such songs as “Suicide Demo for Kara Walker’’ feature controversial themes and harsh electronics. Besides, the album’s gentler passages aren’t really suited to a rock club. If the other musicians had taken it too easy, they would have been have overwhelmed by the drummer — and the chattier members of the audience.
The one band member who consistently held back was Bejar himself. The musician, (also a member of the New Pornographers), offered his lyrics in a sort of disinterested hipster croon, and did little to engage his fans. He spoke only a few words between songs, and sometimes disappeared when not singing. He turned his back to the crowd or sank from view altogether, and cloaked his face behind a lyric sheet during “3,000 Flowers’’ and “Bay of Pigs.’’ On stage, Destroyer’s meandering, jazzy material needs a visual focus, but the singer seemed determined not to provide it. If there were people in the club that hadn’t already taken Destroyer to heart, this performance probably didn’t convert them.