This was the Illegally Blind show I have been waiting for for quite a while. That’s right: 2 Time Super Bowl Champions The Mighty Bass Drum of Death are back in town! For those of you who don’t know. Illegally Blind is Jason Trefts’s booking company.
I saw the opening band Black Beach only about a week earlier blow the roof off of Thieves Grotto. They were probably my favorite band at that party so I was looking forward to seeing them again. They were the perfect local band to open this show. They played pretty much the same set as a week ago but they sounded and looked even better with the lights and projections around the stage. They rip hard and are a force to be reckoned with. John from Bass Drum of Death even commented that they are the best opener he has seen so far on their tour. Big props to Jason for adding them to the bill.
After a brief break Michigan psych 5 piece The People’s Temple came on. This was my first time seeing them. I have heard their recordings and I think that they rock much harder live than on those recordings. For some reason I thought they were going to be more laid back. I guess to keep up with Bass Drum of Death you really gotta rip it. Their singer reminded me a little of Hadden from The New Highway Hymnal. They impressed me.
Now it was time for 2 Time Super Bowl Champions The Mighty Bass Drum of Death to rip everyone a new asshole. The crowd started jostling as soon as John Barrett strummed the opening riff of Velvet Itch. As the heavy hitting jams continued, the crowd just got more wild. The band members long hair went flying around the stage nonstop as they played. Bass Drum of Death just put out a rippin’ new album appropriately titled RIP THIS! So obviously they featured a number of songs from it. They also did a number of my favorite older songs of their such as I Wanna Be Forgotten, Nerve Jamming & Get Found. For some songs there were girls that jumped onstage and danced. Just watch the video of Crawling After You. For their encore they did GB City track Religious Girls and a cover of Spirit In The Sky which at first I wondered if it was BRMC’s Spread Your Love because those songs have similar chord progressions. After the show I got to chill with the guys. They are some of the most awesome nice guys ever. Finally it was time for me to go home and let my bruises heal. This was not the first time I was bruised at a BDOD show.
Last week I saw 2 Time Super Bowl Champions, The Mighty, Bass Drum Of Death! but before 2TSBCTMBDOD could go on two other bands (who have yet to win any super bowls so far) had to get the crowd warmed up. First up were Vundabar. They played indie pop rock that got quite rhythmic at times. They were pretty good but I think I would have preferred something a little punkier. Next were Thunderbloods who play fun rock n roll. I remember them from when I saw them open for Night Beats & The New Highway Hymnal last year. This time Travis from TNHH was drumming with them. They dedicated one of their songs to Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who had died the previous day. For a few songs the singer and guitarist went into the crowd to help start the pit going. They ended their set as usual with their great cover of Faces’s OOh La La. The best part of the show other than 2TSBCTMBDOD‘s performance was watching 2TSBCTMBDOD drummer Len set up the actual Bass Drum Of Death. No, it was time for 2 Time Super Bowl Champions, The Mighty, Bass Drum Of Death to shine and prove why they have won a pair of Super Bowls. 2TSBCTMBDOD’s quarterback John Barrett wanted to get things going immediately so the band started with “I Wanna Be Forgotten,” which is probably my favorite song of theirs. I think I got bruises right away as the pit went full force. It was roasting in there so if Change Span were playing (I’m certainly glad they weren’t) there probably would have been a bare-breasted Lynear Unyts. If there were a bet like there was in the Super Bowl with Red Hot Chili Peppers if whether or not a member of Bass Drum Of Death would have his shirt off you woulda won because Len removed his shirt about halfway through. Unfortunately, they didn’t do an encore because I think it may have been too much for everyone. Bass Drum of Death sounded great and they proved why they have won 2 Super Bowls. After the show I talked to the guys and they showed me their Super Bowl rings and I asked John how he liked his trip to Disneyland after winning MVP. John also told me that he accidentally dropped his shoes in the toilet.
Bass Drum of Death Set-List:
I Wanna Be Forgotten
Black Don’t Glow
Faces Of The Wind
Heart Attack Kid
Crawling After You
Black Lips: [LINK] Need I say more! A commenter said this session is a return to form so to speak of the “raw Black Lips we know and love” and that commenter is pretty spot-on. Their sound at Daytrotter is what’d you expect when seeing them live. “Dumpster Diving” lacks the toy piano and perfect timing/tone of guitar riffs found on Arabia Mountain, for instance. “Time” is more brash on here than on Arabia. Non-album tune “Make It” clearly is one of the band’s favorite songs to play and it’s filled to the brim with sloppy energy, rolling guitar riffs, improvisation of guitar solo, and such. “Go Out and Get It” feels much more punk-like live, faster and heavier than its album counterpart. I’ve heard fans of shitty music say that seeing their favorite band live was so great because they sounded just like they do on CD! Not the case with the Lips and thank God. It’s the little imperfections and added level of excitement that they bring on stage that separate them from this blandness that a lot of bands suffer from.
Bass Drum of Death: [LINK] Having not seen Bass Drum of Death live, I can’t really make a comparison like I just did with the Lips, but I will say that from hearing their debut album GB City, the dudes in this band play pretty much no-bullshit rock ‘n roll. Loud and noisy. The mix of this session captures that element of course and you can clearly tell the difference between the relatively slick production of GB City and Bass Drum in a live, more anarchic studio setting. Stand out tunes to me are “Young Pros” and “Get Found.”
Band: Bass Drum of Death Release: 4/2011 Label: Fat Possum
1. “Nerve Jamming” – A-
2. “GB City” – A
3. “Get Found” – A- 4. “Velvet Itch” – B 5. “High School Roaches” – B+ 6. “Spare Room” – B- 7. “Young Pros” – A+ 8. “Heart Attack Kid” – A+
9. “Leaves” – A 10. “I Could Never Be Your Man” – A- 11. “Religious Girls” – A
Comments: Bass Drum’s schtick — appropriate term or not — is found somewhere between the regions of power-fuzz masters Death From Above 1979, Thee Oh Sees, and a bunch of recent bands that have roots in the ever-growing underground noise/punk/garage thingie. “Nerve Jamming” is a power number, noise-pop at its core. “GB City” same thing, but even better with more of garage twang. Hooks are quite ubiquitous as there are hardly any dull moments on this record. The aesthetic of “Young Pros” — the catchiest track GB offers — is reminiscent of pre King of the Beach Wavves, something like “No Hope Kids” or “So Bored” but this “Young Pros,” I’ll tell ya is something special. “Heart Attack Kid” brings me back to my early listening days of Harlem’s Hippies when I was so excited to hear the joy of two or three fantastic songs in a row. Of course other records I have heard possess this quality, but it was around this time last year that I really got into Hippies, so this is a parallel. So yes, in conclusion, this is quite deserving of many an accolade and I can surely imagine Bass Drum of Death to be quite the live band as well. Check ’em out!