The Best of Artscape: Hume at High Zero

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Even though we didn’t see a clear sky until Sunday, Artscape didn’t let us down. The Baltimore Rock Opera Society tore up Charles Street Bridge, the Koresh Dance Company made me wish I’d done ballet classes instead of Tae Kwon Do, and I didn’t care about my stomachache because the seafood gumbo gyro I got it from was so damn delicious. Everything was great, but by far the best thing I saw/consumed was a 40-minute set by the band Hume at High Zero’s Worlds in Collusion.

This happened away from the other stages, on the fifth floor of a U.B. student building on Mount Royal. The auditorium was small but still under-filled.  Before Hume came on there was some forgettable poetry and a bit of piano music. Then the four of them took the stage – the two drummers in the back, the vocalist with a lone guitar stage right, and to his left another guitarist with a pedal collection that looked (and ended up sounding) like a cross between Dustin Wong and Animal Collective’s Geologist.

Their music came out in these distorted arcs, morphed almost tribally by the drummers, frontman Britton Powell’s voice caressing over the whole sound. Hume draws from a lot of classical training, and even with the crazy loops and mike effects and experimental set-ups, these origins show through, as a sort of foundation from which they build up and out in all their beautiful directions. I sat in the front row, at most 10 feet from the farthest back drummer, and when the set finished my friends and I were screaming “Uno mas! Diez mas!” until they’d packed up the last drumstick.

It was a perfect show from a band with an enormous amount of talent. Everyone needs to listen to them at least once and (lucky you) you can do that right here:

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