Live Concert Photography: Summer Thunder 5/27/17 Psychic Ills and Blazer Sound System at Union Pool

Live Concert Photography: Summer Thunder 5/27/17 Psychic Ills and Blazer Sound System at Union Pool 

Presented by the folks at Academy Records and popular Williamsburg hotspot and music venue Union Pool, Summer Thunder is a weekly showcase throughout the summer featuring some of the metropolitan area’s best bands and DJs playing at Union Pool’s back patio — for free with drink specials and cheap tacos. Sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it? Tacos, beers, friends and great, free music works for me! But on a serious note, the year’s Summer Thunder started off with local DJ collective Blazer Sound System  and acclaimed psych rock act Psychic Ills. Photos are below, y’all.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’d recall that I’ve written about the New York-based psych rock act Psychic Ills. Currently comprised of founding and primary members and songwriters Tres Warren (vocals, guitar) and Elizabeth Hart (bass) with a rotating cast of collaborators and friends, the acclaimed psych rock act over the past decade have developed a reputation for following wherever their muses and instincts take them, frequently experimenting and changing up their sound and songwriting approach — seemingly at will. In fact, last year’s Inner Journey Out, the band’s fifth album, was the culmination of three years of touring, writing and recording and expanding upon the sound and aesthetic that first caught the attention of the blogosphere; in fact, that album finds the band incorporating honky tonk country, blues, gospel and jazz along with classic psych rock. And along with that, while the band’s previously recorded material found Warren overdubbing his guitar work to create a massive, Tower of Sound-like sound, Inner Journey Out focused on Warren’s and Hart’s collaborations with a dream list of accomplished musicians and singer/songwriters including Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval, touring keyboardist Brent Cordero, Chris Millstein, Endless Boogie’s Harry Druzd, The Entrance Band’s Derek James, Charles Burst and a host of friends and associates, who also provide pedal steel guitar, horns, strings and backing vocals.

Thematically speaking, the album’s material is much more introspective, exploring the interior and exterior lives of its narrators and the difficult and uneasy pathways that unite them; in fact, album singles “Baby” and “Another Change” manage to sound as though they directly inspired by The Rolling Stones Gimme Shelter” and Pink Floyd’s The Great Gig in the Sky” but with a lonely, plaintive ache for connection to someone or something. But just under the surface is the sad and embittering recognition that moments of true, actual connection are not just extremely rare, but fleeting and impermanent. Their impressive headlining set, was primarily a mix of material of Inner Journey Out and earlier material.

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Psychic Ills headlining Union Pool’s first Summer Thunder showcase of 2017 last weekend. 

Comprised of DJs and producers Zebrablood and Rainstick, Blazer Sound System is a production and DJ unit who splits time between New York, Kingston and Santa Fe, NM. The duo specializes in a genre-mashing sound which features elements of dub, reggae, hip-hop, tribal house, house and others. They opened up the proceedings with a lengthy DJ set.

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Blazer Sound System opening up 2017’s Summer Thunder at Williamsburg, Brooklyn hot spot Union Pool last weekend.

For these photos and more, check out the Flickr set here:

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