Binghamton Underground Music Presents (BUMP) kicked off the school year with the first show of the semester. Concert attendees experienced the psychedelic rock of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, a seven-piece hailing from Australia.
“They definitely have a different sound from any other band we have brought in recent years,” Allison Drexler, BUMP vice chair and a senior double-majoring in art history and political science, wrote in an email. “I thought it would be a cool opportunity to bring something to Binghamton that we would not normally be able to get.”
Opening for King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard was California outfit The Mystery Lights. With echoes of Led Zeppelin and The Doors, the garage rock band is fronted by frenetic singer Mike Brandon.
“We’ve only done one other college show, but we love any types of gigs like this,” Brandon said. “It’s really fun and everyone has been really nice.”
With a dearth of on-campus live music, BUMP provides shows to students at no cost. Even though rising acts like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard perform, the concerts always tend to feel intimate.
“It’s really nice being just a few feet away from the band,” said Emily D’Emic, a junior double-majoring in English and art history. “You get a chance to really check out their instruments and all the effort they put into their performance.”
Drexler believes the smaller venues are important to BUMP’s persona.
“It gives students the opportunity to see bands in a way that would not be possible at actual venues,” Drexler said.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard were a bevy of noises, with two drummers, a harmonica and synth player and at times, two bassists. Their set was loud, rhythmic and full of raw energy. The band took no breaks between songs, preferring to segue in lengthy psychedelic jams.
“They sounded like a really funky band,” D’Emic said. “I was equally intrigued by the fact they were from Australia — very exotic.”
Entirely student-run, BUMP is able to handpick acts they think students will enjoy.
“Anyone can come out and see some live music that they may not have otherwise been exposed to or had the opportunity to see,” Drexler said. “We also have our student shows, which showcase the great Binghamton student musicians. Free live music: what’s not to love?”
Brandon was impressed by the entirely student-run organization.
“It’s cool that getting booked and even the sound crew was all student-run,” Brandon said. “It’s a lot of fun out here.”
With the first show of the semester over, Drexler promises more shows are underway.
“We have another concert coming up soon,” Drexler said. “It’s gonna be BUMPin’, so stay tuned for that.”