Concert Review: Black Midi


Geordie Greep, from Photographer Casey Vock.

Franky Rodriguez

Black Midi is on a roll. After releasing one of the most critically acclaimed albums of last year, touring the world relentlessly for the past few months, and being on track to release another full-length album sometime later this year, Black Midi really is the hardest working band in show business.

I caught their recent show at D.C.’s very own Black Cat.

After an energetic and fun opening act from Chicago-based artist, NNAMDÏ, it was clear the room was ready to see their favorite gang of musical tricksters. After a few minutes of waiting, the room suddenly dimmed. Suddenly, over the speaker, a mid-20th century boxing announcer began to introduce the band. The band waltzed out onto the stage to Jimi Hendrix’s famous cover of “The National Anthem” and immediately got to work by bursting into their track, “Dethroned”.

The band played a plethora of great tracks during this show. Half of their set was a handful of brand-new unreleased songs that are supposedly going to be on their new album. Many of these songs are fully-fledged and showcased the band’s virtuosic songwriting skills and chemistry. Aside from new material, the band played an even amount of songs from each of their two albums thus far. It was great to hear them pull out some deeper cuts, such as “Western,” an 8-minute epic off of their 2019 album, Schlagenheim.

The band had a great live presence. It was not uncommon for Bassist Cameron Picton to break out into dance with saxophonist Kaidi Akinnibi in the middle of a song. Singer and Guitarist Geordie Greep would also break into dance, all the while he stayed in perfect time with the rest of the band. On top of this, they all have a great sense of humor and it gets well exhibited on stage, whether it be a short monologue about how Geordie Greep came to meet keyboardist, Seth Evans, or the band randomly starting to play Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” in the middle of their song “John L”.

Each member of the group is extremely skilled at their respective instrument, and this gets perfectly shown through the energetic expansions of their already grand and epic catalog of songs. Drummer Morgan Simpson continuously kept the adrenaline pumping within the crowd with his thumping chops. It was unreal to see him switch from a virtuosic jazz drummer to a deranged noise rock drummer almost seamlessly between songs.

Black Midi is one of the best bands out today and throws a hell of a live show. Make sure you don’t miss ‘em the next time they come through the District.