A dreadlocked older man covered in tattoos of mandalas and divine geometry began whirling like a dervish near the end of Midday Veil’s set. He orbited around a woman in a sarong who flitted about with her eyes closed in a sort of trance.
The concentric circles the two made and the possessed state they seemed consumed by is pretty much par for the course with the kind of dark witchery Seattle’s own Midday Veil regularly conjures up.
What made the band’s Bumbershoot set wonderful though was that it wasn’t very dark. Appropriately enough, the band played at midday, and the sun was brighter than an indigo child. Every time I’ve seen Midday Veil do their thing, it’s pitch black in a club and there is 100 pounds of smoke in my face (which is completely awesome, don’t get me wrong). But there was something special about seeing Midday Veil cast their spells outside in the sunshine.
Maybe it was Emily Pothast’s sparkly golden tights, or David Golightly’s neon pink sunglasses. Maybe it was that I got to see all of their spooky theatrics without a thick veil of fog in front. Maybe it was that in the daylight, I got to watch each and every one of Timm Mason’s mind boggling screechfest guitar solos. For the first time, I realized they have a conga player who accompanies them (who kicked all of the ass)—something I never realized since I assume he’s usually tucked in the corner of a club made up to look like a medieval dungeon. Midday Veil are just as good on a clear day as they are on a dark night. That, is a feat.
When I interviewed the band in anticipation of the release show for their new LP The Current back in July, guitarist Timm Mason mentioned that Midday Veil is very much in the business of using “trance[…] sounds to kind of help people get into this different mental state.” My favorite part of the band’s set was watching an awkward middle aged man with orthopedic shoes and his pants hiked up to his chest start to rock the hell out during a heavier part of the set. He closed his eyes and head banged hard to MV’s cosmic dirges, wobbling around in a drift wherever Midday Veil decided to take him. When the song ended, the man opened his eyes and looked kind of disoriented for a second. Space travel will do that to you.