Brothers Past Aboard the Big Effing Boat
Last Friday night, Brothers Past inaugurated an especially packed late summer weekend in New York City with their annual concert cruise. Not even BP guitarist/scarf enthusiast Tom Hamilton was entirely sure how long this raucous tradition has been going on, but the consensus seems to be eight years, which is roughly how long Rocks Off has been running these musical aquatic excursions. When pairing the scenic views of Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and New Jersey with the improvisational electronic-tinged prowess of BP, it’s hard to tell where the cake ends and the icing begins.
Brothers Past has always maintained a steadfast cult following, even by the insular standards of the dance jam world, due partially to their somehwat lax tour schedule and the partisan emotional indie leanings of many of their compositions. Onboard, that following lent itself to an unparalleled vibe of familiarity with a sea of friendly faces cascading into heartfelt sing-along crescendos. Anticipation steadily rose as the BP faithful streamed down the dock and onto the rustic and majestic Queen of Hearts.
Though the boat was packed with diehards, the set list was peppered with tunes familiar even to the casual BP fan, starting with the opener, a meaty “Year of the Horse” wrapped around “Tired Sigh,” easing into the voyage with a showcase of the breadth of their acumen across electronic genres ranging from trip hop to drum and bass. Heavy beats interlaced seamlessly with meandering melodies across atmospheric ambience. The set came to an unquestionable peak with a spacey future bass rendition of “Celebrity” segued into a relatively short, certainly sweet “A Wonderful Day.”
The next set was decidedly shorter and slightly rushed, as a blearily oblivious crowd danced away the evening to the dulcet tones of T-Ham and the deceptively complex bass work of Clay Parnell, the electric back beat of Rick Lowenberg and the swelling chords of Tom McKee, all wrapped up in a “Simple Gift of Man”-wich. The set featured solid versions of more classic BP jawns, notably “Big Blue Apples” and “Dressed Up Worn Down.” The encore was the front row sing along synth pop anthem “Leave The Light On” and then the lights were on.
Michael Jackson came on the sound system and the throngs spilled off the boat and dispersed. We drifted aimlessly through the West Village and eventually to Mr. Bugsly‘s after party where The Malah was playing to a small crowd. After a short stay at the frigid Midtown dance club, we headed home to rest up, for the eventful weekend still held moonlit disco orchestras and sunset hotel rooftop dance parties.
Listen to the entire show HERE!