Wrapping up their North American tour in support of their 8th studio album, Wrong Creatures, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club played their hometown show at the historic Fillmore in San Francisco.
Decked out in leather boots and jackets, Peter, Robert, and Leah took the stage opening their set with “Little Thing Gone Wild”. I wouldn’t necessarily file BRMC under the high energy category. However, they do a very great job of getting the audience involved. Relying heavily on the “four on the floor” rhythms throughout their set, instinctually, it has you moving your hands and feet the whole night. There’s a catchiness to their songs, but one thing I noticed was that the songs as a whole seemed to lack any sort of dramatic dynamic change. Their loud songs were balls to the wall, and the softer, more somber numbers were just exactly that.
I’d describe their sound as haunting and gritty, drone-y and disturbing. The use of thick, saturated bass tone seems to be the key element in BRMC’s sound as they drive it right into your face. There is a middle ground between the poppy, radio friendly music that Muse puts out, and the bluesy, avant-garde work of Tom Waits. That’s where Black Rebel Motorcycle Club lives for me.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is an interesting live band. They demand and hold your attention, but they do it in such a way that their engagement comes off cold and distant. Some might find this impressive, actually. They let the music do the talking for them, which is respectable and bad ass. This being their hometown show, I expected a bit more chatter between songs.
Although they’ve finished up their North American Tour, you can catch BRMC playing various dates all over Europe throughout June and July.
Austin Newkirk is a San Francisco Bay Area photographer. You’ll likely find him in one of three places - out at the beach with his dog, Ky, at a brewery sipping on a stout, or out shooting your next favorite band.