Bass Drum Of Death – Photo by Eric Gossett

Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Bass Drum Of Death brought their psychedelic garage sounds to the Seaport Music Festival Friday night. The summertime festival features weekly performances held on the docks by the East River, overlooking the Brooklyn skyline. The stage is set up between Pier 17 and the massive Peking ship, which makes for a uniquely nautical show-going experience.
The weather forecast for Friday was rain, but that didn’t stop fans from crowding the pier from end to end. Bass Drum Of Death took the stage first and immediately hammered into their hard-hitting song “Velvet Itch,” off their debut album GB City and followed it with “Bad Reputation” off their latest self-titled album. As frontman John Barrett gained more momentum, so did the crowd. A small mosh pit even formed when the band started to play “GB City,” the title track to their first album. The energy remained steady throughout their set, which ended with two powerful tracks, “Crawling After You” and “Shattered Me,” that left the docks shaking as Bass Drum exited the stage.
As the rain began to fall harder, Unknown Mortal Orchestra launched rapidly into their set. Lead singer Ruban Nielson addressed the audience’s commitment to the show saying, “Thanks for coming out and thanks for braving the rain.” Although the band’s set was heavy on their new record, II, that didn’t stop them from slipping in several songs off their self-titled debut including “Ffunny Ffrends,” “Biocycle,” “How Can You Love Me,” and “Boy Witch.” The crowd was able to get the band back on stage for one more song, a cover of “Vitamin C” by the German Krautrock band Can. The night ended as ’70s psychedelic soundwaves mingled with the falling rain.
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