As expected, Bass Drum of Death melted my GD face off at the Bootleg last night. Ah yes, the sweet noise of the kickoff show to a band’s (fairly limited) tour. In fact, Wednesday night’s offering was one of two in their tour that didn’t feature supporting act Royal Blood. As heartbroken as I am that I missed the English rockers, I think the residual hearing impairment that’s haunting me today is evidence enough that BDoD rocked hard enough to make up for the absence.
John Barrett, sole founder of the originally one-manned band, took the stage, and figuratively put a ring on it because holy hell did he seem to like it. Watching the three-part live act was like watching a group of rock n roll muppets try desperately to spread lice amongst their posse. They gracefully headbanged their mops into the center of the stage as a mosh pit quickly formed to “Electric” off the band’s most recent release, 2014’s Rip This. As Barrett howled into a microphone that now likely needs sanitizing (hello, it’s almost flu season), Len Clark banged on his drumkit like the Energizer Bunny. Meanwhile, Josh Hunter gave a bass-free thickness to the live display. He drove Barrett’s catchy progressions with a charisma that nearly knocked over one of Clark’s mics. I think I saw a polite “I’m sorry” form on his lips mid-song. What a gent.
I couldn’t help but sway my hips and imagine I was a seasoned exotic dancer when, after a little bit of improvisational shredding, “Velvet Itch” blasted its way through the amps. Arguably their sexiest song, the moshing reached a high only to be bested by the crowd-surfing wreckage caused by “Young Pros” (both from 2011’s GB City).
The insane chemistry Barrett developed with the audience was a treat, especially after fans were disappointed by a canceled European tour this past summer. Just 5 months ago he stated that “personal issues” were the cause of what I can only assume at this point is a raincheck for fans across the pond. Then again, the sweat dripping off of Barrett’s forehead, onto his guitar, and strummed out onto a practically filled house made it feel like a fucking downpour. And that’s not a complaint. Rain or drought, Bass Drum of Death is not a band to miss if you can make it to one of their performances (tour listed below).
And as for my favorite quote of the night:
“Thanks for coming out on a Wednesday night!” Barrett exclaimed. “Wednesdays are really the first nights of the weekend.” The man was right. The LA crowd certainly behaved as if it was the peak of a massive Saturday night party.
PS. Guy who dropped a bunch of change at will-call: thanks for the 26 cents I found in my boot when I got home!
The rest of their tour in support of Royal Blood is as follows:
09/24 | Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory * SOLD OUT
09/25 | San Diego, CA @ House of Blues * SOLD OUT
09/28 | Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee *
09/29 | El Paso, TX @ Tricky Falls *
10/01 | Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live *
10/02 | San Antonio, TX @ Korova
10/03 | Austin, TX @ Emo’s East *
10/05 | St. Louis, MO @ Ready Room *
10/06 | Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
10/07 | Dallas, TX @ House of Blues *
* w/ Royal Blood