Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Jesus and Mary Chain at Webster Hall

Here’s what I have to say about this: it was a good show. Though I could have done with a few more songs from the first two (i.e. the good) albums and also maybe some changes in tempo (to reflect the fact that the songs were not all originally recorded at the one speed at which they were played last night, especially considering that differences in tempo are almost the only thing to distinguish one track from one another, and even then...well: they were good at something and they stuck to it). Still, because singer Jim Reid seemed so in control of the stage and the performance, I took the mono-tempo as deliberate and a bit perverse, rather than as a sign of age or a lack of energy. The performance overall seemed designed to confound the expectation of The Jesus & Mary Chain’s famously wild “holocaust of white noise” on the one hand, and on the other (and conversely) to assert that the songs were and are, well, real songs. So while I had the sense that there was a punk rock refusal to give in and please the audience, I was also impressed: it didn't come off as a reunion "strictly from hunger." And "You Trip Me Up", with which they closed, was great.

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