Bass Drum of Death surprised us with their outsized encapsulating presence October 20 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Short a bassist, they engulfing us in sound like it was no big deal. But for the dedicated fans out after work or class on a Monday, John Barrett and company were a pretty big deal.
The trio began with “Velvet Itch,” an evident crowd favorite that converted half the floor into a thrashing mosh pit. Barrett’s croning vocals and the track’s slower tempo — slower relative to the rest of Bass Drum’s discography — was a perfect lead-in for the set to follow. The crowd’s energy reached a high, dancing and moshing to the beat with increased vigor, as the band played “Nerve Jamming.” The crowd sang along to “Get Found,” the last song before the encore; the popular track features strong percussion, contagious lyrics, and a repetitive classic rock guitar progression, that render it extremely catchy.
Unable to contain themselves, the audience let loose on the encore. “Crawling Back to You” is exactly how we felt during Monday evening’s final moments, though it was the band returning to us, and no one was crawling. With infectious beats and lighter guitar to finish, the performance left our hearts stirring, wanting more as we exited into the city and the week ahead.