For his Fourth of July, Nate Dorr spent about 12 hours going to three different shows throughout Brooklyn. Here is what happened during the night time.
The day’s impending rain, long held to just a hint of moisture in the air, took on weight and dampening power as I wound my bike into Bed-Stuy. By the time I followed the sound of whirring static up to the roof five or six stories above, umbrellas were starting to come out throughout the large and ever-growing crowd assembled up there. I think I was expecting something relatively small — just a friend’s rooftop and two bands, one brand new — but clearly word had gotten out.
From the familiar faces, it seemed that quite a few of them had made the jump from the Yard as I had. I’d seen Pterodactyl guitarist Joe Kremer there earlier, for instance, and now here he was using his physics teacher day job to calculate our height from the sound of beer cans echoing down some kind of large metal duct protruding around the edge of the rooftop. Likewise, members of Fiasco. Lest this sound like one of those gossip columns about who was at some big Hollywood party, I’ll stop there.
What were all these people here for? For one, [ed: my band. No comment!]. Soon after, as the fireworks opened, increasingly mathy post-hardcore stormers Birthday Boyz followed.
The first set ended in a rush to get gear into the stairwell and out of the gradually increasing drizzle, but Birthday Boyz ended up just borrowing and dragging some of it right back out. And so the show continued on the open roof, providing much more fitting accompaniment to things exploding in the sky than your typical philharmonic treatment. I managed to scramble up onto the more elevated stairwell roof by this point, for unobstructed views of the entire proceedings.
Later, I made my way up to stop three of the day, a Todd P-run show at Death By Audio (the first time I’ve seen him at a sound board in a while, actually). The highlight turned out to be the surprise opener Feeling of Love, over briefly from their native France. With a careful mix of noise and old fashioned guitar riffing, the band seemed to channel a similar punk take on old blues-rock to Jon Spencer’s, which made it unsurprising to learn that they share their name with a Blues Explosion song. Also notable: Australian keys-and-drums study in slow, subtle progression Fabulous Diamonds. Hazy psych-gazers Crystal Stilts and Psychedelic Horseshit rounded out the bill.
Finally, biking home at 3:30, the rain that had been threatening all day picked up into full storm force, drenching me before I got home. I was just glad it held off long enough for everything else to happen first. For all the Independence celebrated on this day, afterall, it is still very dependent on the whims of weather.