Black Mountain



By Mark Derricutt

Artist: Black Mountain

Date / Venue: Friday September 30th, 2016 - Kings Arms, Auckland

A few years ago I'd been exploring the web looking for modern progressive rock with amore psychedelic side of things when I first came across Vancouver, British Columbia based Black Mountain's second release In The Future, almost immediately it grabbed me as something..... something..... something special.

It's wasn't exactly the progressive rock I was initially looking for, but it was certainly a refreshing musical experience with remnants of 70s psychedelic / prog rock, modern production, light and airy with loads of room for one to fall inside each song and simply get lost inside.

I was hooked.

Roll forward 8 years and Friday night saw Black Mountain playing their first show in New Zealand at The Tuning Fork, Vector Arena's smaller side venue/bar. It was a chilly, wet, bleak night in Auckland which set my mood for the night, and also set the mood for the photos/editing I was soon to shoot.

Auckland artist Dave Weir opened the evening with an folkish acoustic set reminding me of Bob Dylan, and whilst an enjoyable set just didn't really jell with me in setting the mood, maybe I was just too amped for the main show.

Soon enough however, Black Mountain took the stage and led us through an 11 song set with a bonus encore song. And whilst the show started with some minor foldback level issues, the rest of the night went off, so much so it went off in a blur. In between soaking in the atmosphere, losing myself in the music and taking photos to flow with the trip, to just succumbing to the trace like music and enjoying the trip. I can't really say too much about the songs themselves except to say that Jeremy Schmidt, keyboardist for Black Mountain was a joy to hear, more so than the guitars, or watching the crazy expressions and antics of bassist Matt Camirand. It's the sonic landscapes that Jeremy brought to life that captivated me. I'm a total sucker for old synths, and seeing/hearing Jeremy playing a Memotron was just awesome.

Some people say that concert reviews are better when you review the experience, not just the show, so I have to give a shout out to Dave Simpson, fellow photographer for something so small, so almost insignificant, that made me love the New Zealand music scene even more than I already did.

30 minutes before the end of the show I fell fowl of a severe leg cramp so I made my way through the jam packed crowd (the show was sold out, and literally there was little or no room to easily move around) to the rear of the venue to find a spot to sit for awhile. Ater randomly moving past Dave and mentioning it, by the time I found somewhere to sit and wince in pain, he was there with water for me, before descending back into the crowd.

New Zealand music rocks, and those involved in it both on, and off stage, rock even more.

Set List:

* Mothers of the Su
* Florian Saucer Attack
* Stormy High
* Cemetery Breeding
* Tyrants
* You Can Dream
* Line Them All Up
* Rollercoaster
* Wildnerness Hearth
* Wucan
* Space to Bakersfield
* Druganaut (encore)