Last Friday, Binghamton Underground Music Presents (BUMP) presented its first virtual show on YouTube Live. The show offered students and other fans the opportunity to tune in while watching performers live.
Sean McManus, chairman of BUMP and a junior majoring in Japanese studies, opened the show and explained how this performance is set apart from those prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am sad like many of you that we can’t have concerts where we normally do in person in the underground packed little room, dancing around, moshing together and whatnot,” McManus said. “But hopefully things will get better sooner rather than later. In the meanwhile, I am so excited to present you guys with our first online broadcast obviously on YouTube.”
Fire-Toolz, the stage name for Angel Marcloid, began the BUMP show with the song “Screamography” from her album “Skinless X-1.” This song has a mixture of electronic and metal beats. Her next song, “Second Life,” was made up of different electronic rhythms and sounds. After the song ended, she walked off and back onto a virtual stage where she applied her black lipstick and picked up her cat. After petting it, she placed the cat down and began her next song, “Rainbow ∞ Bridge.” This moment shocked viewers because of how “Rainbow ∞ Bridge” had a loud and upbeat metal sound. Fire-Toolz kept listeners on their toes as each moment of silence was followed by loud and powerful beats.
The next song Fire-Toolz played was “Clear Light” from the album “Field Whispers (Into the Crystal Palace),” which incorporated her playing electric guitar and some jazz-influenced sounds. A saxophone playing a smooth jazz melody is heard in this song, adding an interesting new texture.
Each of Fire-Toolz’s songs brought a new sound and rhythm to the performance, and the background video clips and pictures added depth to the music. The creativity involved in the making of the performance was evident. Each song involved a new video background with moving photos and video clips. The performance gave a hallucinatory feeling to those watching. The bright and vivid images floating around the virtual stage made the performance lie on the boundaries of real versus the unreal.
Fire-Toolz wrote in an email about her BUMP performance and the lively aspect behind it.
“The way the music comes alive is like throwing paint at the canvas, and then getting in a stream of consciousness for the rest, adding to it and changing it and refining it and expanding it until it just feels like a complete idea,” Fire-Toolz wrote. “I loved working with BUMP! It was a fantastic opportunity and it got me doing things in the video department differently than I had before.”
The next act to perform was Baths, the stage name for Will Wiesenfeld. Baths had a clear electronic sound and incorporated his voice into the sounds he created. His music had mellow beats that resembled lo-fi beats. Baths had an entertaining performance which allowed viewers to feel involved in his music-making experience. Viewers were able to see him creating his beats live and adjust the sounds while performing.
Baths’ voice had a wide range, and his music showed off his upper register as he sang high notes in his performance. Baths’ music was well-balanced, and his lyrics expressed much pain and emotion.
“I will be quiet / I will be othered /I will die waiting /I will die governed,” Baths sang. “Some crucial move I never discovered.”
Baths had a more simplistic style that easily connected with listeners. He also included background images and video clips in his performance. The backgrounds included interesting shapes, black and white art as well as satisfying video clips.
Both performers considered elements other than merely the musical aspects of concerts and shows. The artists managed to entertain viewers by creating interesting eye-catching video backgrounds, adding to BUMP’s theme of utilizing different elements of art to create a more rounded form of music.