Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Photos: Death @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (Afro-Punk CMJ Showcase)

Death @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (Afro-Punk CMJ Showcase) - October 18, 2011

Late on Tuesday night, I made my way over to the Music Hall of Williamsburg to catch my first dose of CMJ craziness. As we mentioned a couple weeks prior, proto-punk legends Death headlined Afro-Punk’s official CMJ showcase, and it was the first time I’ve seen the band live. Playing immediately after hardcore punk band Cerebral Ballzy may have been too sharp of a contrast (kids were going absolutely crazy for that band), and at first—though definitely appreciated—Death came off as a bit stagnant. After about four songs however, particularly when they launched into “Freakin Out,” the kids once again went ape-sh*t.

It’s pretty great listening to Death’s music, knowing it predated so many bands that took a cue from them either intentionally or unknowingly, specifically The Minutemen and Bad Brains. The latter in particular--and no, not just because they all happen to be black. Bassist and lead vocalist Bobby Hackney shuffles between a rather soulful howl to a sprawling punk rock roar, all the while playing some of the most innovative bass playing I’ve heard in punk music altogether. If you haven’t checked out this band yet, I beg you to do so.

CMJ continues throughout the week, though unfortunately this was Death’s only appearance. Check out a full set of photos of the Brooklyn show below…

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