It was the 27th of July, a rather gray Friday. The clouds leaned over to cry on Manhattan’s shoulder, and pedestrians tugged at their jackets and tee shirts, trekking briskly through the streets. At Pier 36, however, the Liberty Belle riverboat prepared to board passengers for a special voyage around the Hudson. Another kind of storm was brewing.
DJ Alejandra Sabillón joined the positively frenetic Brooklyn-based punk outfit Surfbort and the notoriously dynamic, Atlanta-hailing, psychedelic garage-rocking Black Lips on the bill for the night’s Rocks Off Cruise. Following a set by Sabillón, Surfbort opened the live music portion of the evening in a rollicking performance with frontwoman Dani Miller dancing in the crowd, addressing topics ranging from love to the nation’s current disgrace of a president through song, and engaging the audience to take photographs of themselves ironically or livestream video on Instagram during “Selfie,” an exigent wake up call to shameless narcissists everywhere.
Primed for more action, the crowd erupted into chaos as the Black Lips took the stage with a setlist compiled of newer tracks from their most recent 2017 release, Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art?, mixed in with seasoned crowd favorites. At one point, a flailing crowd surfer dislodged a ceiling tile, causing a shower of dust to fall upon the crowd and stage as the band played on.