I've spent the better part of today sorting, editing and uploading photos from the Bass Drum of Death show Friday night. It was my second show at The Bottletree Cafe in Birmingham (Angel Olsen being the first), but it was first time to photograph there. While the venue was lit well, and the stage slightly elevated, I still didn't take any chances and nabbed a spot right on the stage. I thought with such a good position, my 24-70 f2.8 lens would suffice, but, it wasn't long enough for a few shots, and there were many moments I longed for my 70-200 f4 lens.
Before the show, I talked to a few guys at the stage about vaping. They were puffing away, and it seriously smelled fruity and one even smelled a bit like pecan pie. As we talked about photography and bands, the Secret Stages Festival was brought up, and it turns out, one of the guys was in a band that played Secret Stages, David from the band Kyle. I missed them, but will definitely give them a longer look now.
There were supposed to be two opening bands -- Drew Price's Bermuda Triangle and Eleven Year Old -- but only Drew Price's band showed. At 9:30, Price took the stage solo for 3 songs, and then his band joined him for a handful more. The band was energetic, melodic, and had some fun pop songs. I'll check them out a bit more later.
Bass Drum of Death took the stage at 11:00, whipping through 14-15 songs in about an hour. The first few songs sounded off sound-wise, maybe not enough vocals, but musically, they ripped it up. As the show progressed, the sound got tighter, and the crowd started to get into it, many danced or bounced along to the beat as the temperature increased in the tiny club.
Around the middle of the set, I moved back to the bar to finish a beer I'd started about 9:15, and listen to the remainder of the set. The new material was incredible -- melodic and catchy, and felt far superior to their earlier work. A better balance, bigger sound, and vocals not shrouded in fuzz will do that. I can't wait to hear the rest of the album, due out in October. Here are a few of the photos I took at the show.
In the next photo, lead singer John Barrett looks a lot like a young Paul Westerberg. At least I think so from comparing to this photo of Paul. Maybe it's just the white t-shirt and mop of hair, but I immediately remembered that photo of Paul.
The remainder of the photos I took can be found on my Flickr page. Bass Drum of Death's set ended near midnight, and we exited as they said their thank you's and started breaking down their equipment.