The tiny dancefloor of the Rickshaw Stop was exploding with energy on November 21st as the four 20-year old British punks known as Black Midi rocked out onstage in promotion of their debut album Schlagenheim (a personal favorite of the year), released on Rough Trade on June 21st, 2019.
Written by Samy Long
Despite being their first album, Black Midi colored the entire music scene very impressed with their mathy, post-punk, and their live performance did not disappoint. Opening for them was vocalist and sitarist from Baltimore, Maryland, Ami Dang. Although the pairing of sitar music and punk seemed strange at first, it began to make perfect sense to me, as both acts were very eclectic and experimental in their own genres, creating a consistent vibe of surprise throughout the night.
Before coming out on to the stage, about 10 minutes of drone was blasted into the audience’s ears, setting the tone for the night. Black Midi immediately blasted in the first song on their record “953”, and the crowd began clashing into each other, creating a small, but mighty mosh pit. Given the syncopated and unpredictable nature of the majority of Black Midi’s songs, the mosh pit was a bit hard to maintain with the tracks’ constant swelling of tempo and lack of a stable rhythm. The crowd tried its best to move with the ever-changing music, making for a very entertaining and unstable moshing experience. Switching to another singer, Black Midi moved into their second song, “Speedway”, one of my personal favorites. The crowd still tried to mosh even though this song is much more downtempo. In the pit, I unfortunately got punched pretty squarely in the eye and had to remove myself for a bit as I recuperated, but as soon as the first notes of “Near DT, MI” hit, I was sprung back into action. The pit was the most intense for that song as well as “Years Ago”, where a third singer in the band screams bloody murder for less than two minutes. Sadly, their set got cut short due to an amp blowing out, so we did not get to hear “bmbmbm”, which features some of frontman Geordie Greep’s strangest and most monotone vocal performances. But alas, the show was amazing anyway and I would expect nothing less than for the remarkable group to go out with a bang. Definitely the sweatiest I have gotten in a minute. Go see them on tour before they head back across the pond!
RIYL: Girl Band, Lightning Bolt, and Daughters
Edited by Carmen Llerena