David Golightly and Emily Pothast, psyching out Bumbershoot.
  • Kelly O
  • David Golightly and Emily Pothast, psyching out Bumbershoot.

It’s strange to see Midday Veil play in the outdoors in the afternoon. They’re one of those quintessentially nocturnal bands whose sound makes most sense around 3 am while you’re peaking on your favorite recreational drug. But they made their (overdue) Bumbershoot debut memorable.

The crowd was kind of sparse over by the Plaza Stage, but a young Asian guy with his T-shirt tucked in was spazzing out and a 60something white geezer with dreads was reliving his hippie heyday with some slick interpretive dancing moves livened things up. This was a weird Midday Veil set in other ways, as only three of the seven songs came from their latest album, The Current; one dated back to their 2009 CD-R (the title track from End of Time, which has been on a long hiatus), and three are still unreleased, including “Lightning Grave,” which made its debut here.

Garrett Moore: Seattles Robert Wyatt.
  • Kelly O
  • Garrett Moore: Seattle's Robert Wyatt.

“Remember Child” from The Current opened the set with astral-ceremonial gravity, its low oscillating drone bravely contrasting with the 80º summer vibe of Bumbershoot. Singer/keyboardist/percussionist Emily Pothast established her charismatic, shamanic presence from the get-go, proving again that she’s one of the Seattle underground-rock scene’s most riveting figures. The furiously torqued, serpentinely fiery “Choreia” received the most explosive treatment I’ve ever seen from Midday Veil, and I’ve seen them a lot.

New track “The Water” was a methodical, menacing stomp, radiating danger. “Lightning Grave” was yet another exciting, dynamic psych rocker, destined to become a show highlight as the band hones it. I can already tell it’s going to become a favorite. The set closed with “End of Time,” a beautiful drifting ballad that proved Midday Veil can do mellow, Wicker Man-folk vibes as well as rockets-on-fire freakouts and celestial drone/OM worship with equal impressiveness.

One of those rockets-on-fire moments.
  • Kelly O
  • One of those rockets-on-fire moments.

Setlist after the jump.

01 Remember Child
02 Without and Within
03 Empire Is No More
04 Choreia
05 The Water
06 Lightning Grave
07 End of Time