black midi just released their brand new album, Hellfire, and made a few stops in the US in support of it before heading right back to Europe for more festival dates. On this very quick trip they played three shows in the States, including a free show at Central Park SummerStage on Sunday 7/24. The sweltering heat wave that had engulfed the city didn’t slow the band down at all or the very excited fans, who reveled in the band’s unique blend of noisy, jazz-twinged indie math rock. Hitting seven of the album’s ten tracks, they also mashed a cover of LCD Soundsystem’s “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House” into an intro of “Eat Men Eat,” changing it of course to “black midi is Playing Central Park.” Free ice cream and ice pops were given out at their merch tent which saw long lines of enthusiastic fans throughout the night.
The lineup for the show was an eclectic mix, with a stand up set from SNL featured player Sarah Squirm kicking off the night. Her set was aided by a number of visuals and leaned hard into the body horror comedy she is known for. She also led a guided meditation (with help from Bonnie Baxter from Kill Alters) that was, shall we say, definitely interesting and just a little bit bizarre. She was followed by Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti of America’s Got Talent fame. He performed a set of classic standards like “New York, New York,” “I’m Just A Gigilo,” and “My Way,” delighting the audience who chanted “SAL! SAL! SAL! SAL!” at the conclusion of his set. A mosh pit also broke out which may just have been a first for the lovable crooner from Bethpage.
black midi setlist: 953, Speedway, Welcome to Hell, Sugar/Tzu, The Race Is About to Begin, Lumps, Still, Eat Men Eat, Chondromalacia Patella, John L, Faster Amaranta, The Defence, 27 Questions, Slow
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Ellen Qbertplaya)
SAL “THE VOICE” VALENTINETTI