Lightning Bolt may be the music scene’s longest-running avant-garde party band. Formed in 1994 in Providence, R.I., the drum-and-bass-guitar duo of Brian Chippendale and Brian Gibson returned to Brooklyn and played 285 Kent last night, and are also on the bill for All Tomorrow’s Parties this weekend (they previously played an ATP in 2004). At 285 Kent, the young, testosterone-heavy crowd was already heaving en masse toward the stage while the band was still sound-checking. But all that prepping didn’t account for the wall of customized amps the band brought, which blew out the power at least five times. And with his ferocious beating, Chippendale busted a drumstick almost immediately.
The band played on stage instead of the center of the floor, as they usually do. Several front-row fans complained about this directly to the band, in between asking for autographs and photos with them. After the initial set, Chippendale emerged for their encore around 1:30am, an arm and leg dripping with blood, which he then wiped all over his face, before donning his customary mask and mouthpiece mic. Judging from his puzzled expression, none of this was intentional. Stylistically, though, it was a fitting way to end the night.