In case you were worried, Buke And Gase are still astonishing endeavors in multitasking. Aron Sanchez, sitting stage left during the Wednesday night release party for his band’s second LP, General Dome, is playing the ninth or tenth prototype of his guitar-bass hybrid baby, kicking on who-knows-what version of his bass drum/tambourine percussion cannon, and now pitching in a few duet verses here and there for good measure. Arone Dyer, stage right, has ostensibly mastered the third iteration of her six-string baritone ukulele, which belies its sideshow-prize appearance with sizzling power and extraterrestrial effects-pedal augmentation. Both Aron(e)s are engaging their eight collective appendages in some kind of strumming or stomping or fretting action, pretty much nonstop for 60 minutes.
Barring a pair of those Dick Van Dyke one-chimbley-sweep-orchestra harnesses, this means B&G’ve got to be seated for the whole show. The dynamic makes for an intimate stage presence, more rewarding in intimate venues like Mercury Lounge or Le Poisson Rouge (still standing after a B&G/Death Grips/Flying Lotus triple-header during last year’s CMJ Marathon) where their impressive footwork doesn’t go so unnoticed behind rows of bobbing human heads.
But the upshot to B&G playing a larger venue like Bowery, as the crowd of several hundred fans and friends observed Wednesday night, was an enormous upgrade in power and volume. Sanchez’s kick drumming and low-end gase beats sounded mammoth through the club’s speakers on their set/General Dome openers “Houdini Crush” and “Hiccup,” and Dyer’s strong vocal melodies were amplified perfectly above the instrumental surge. B&G protested one writer labeling their sound “fiery, metal-infused indie rock,” but at the Bowery they got the most back from their audience during bouts of what anyone there can agree was some goddamn awesome fiery metal infusion. That stoned-heavy bridge about a minute into “Your Face Left Before You” (echoed later in new track “Contortion In Training”) inspired the first of several communal head-banging sessions around the floor and balcony, and got a few front-row joes swaying in half-mosh. “Sleep Gets Your Ghost” proved another big pleaser and spiked the set’s first singalong into swing.
Not surprisingly, songs from 2010’s Riposte and beyond got the biggest rises out of the crowd, which dwindled toward the end of B&G’s hour. The Aron(e)s ended their set the same way they ended at Mercury Lounge a few months ago, leading an ecstatic clap-along to the natural show-stopping swagger of “Revel In Contempt.” Only a day old, the stuff of General Dome might still need some time to percolate with fans before it earns show-stopping power of its own.