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Monday, September 28, 2015

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Live in New York

The Jesus and Mary Chain returned to New York on Thursday September 24, 2015. Playing two consecutive nights at far west side venue Terminal 5, these were their first live shows here in the city that never sleeps since 2012.


Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their breakthrough debut album PsychoCandy, the band has been on a year long tour, playing the album in it's entirety.

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In addition to every track from PsychoCandy (some which they had never played live before, prior to this tour) the opened the show with a seven song set of classic hits and deeper album tracks.

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Having already played a number of these shows (first) in the UK, and then on the US West Coast, the  current touring band may very well be their tightest unit yet.

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Back in the fold are the familiar names of Phil King, Mark Crozer and Brian Young.  Phil now plays guitar, with Mark moving over to bass duties while Brian continues to lock it all down behind the drum kit.


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William Reid's guitar work appears more focused and precise than ever.  What's obvious is how passionately he approaches his playing.  An album like PsychoCandy isn't the easiest thing to recreate, but the sound he produced was the correct balance of hook-laden riffs and distorted jam improvisation.

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Jim Reid continues to lead the band with his stoic, Scottish presence and pitch-perfect vocals.  He appears more fit, focused and sounds better than ever, handling nearly every vocal performance, other than Mark and Phil's occasional background work

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Friends Lindsey and Kevin take in the show with us up in the balcony area.

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The songs performed

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Check out this clip I captured of the nights final epic performance - album closer "It's So Hard"





Having one of these passes provides the highest level of access throughout the arena.


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While wristbands help in gaining visual vantage points throughout the show.


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Earlier in the day Planting Seeds Records creator Neil DeParto and I caught up with a breezy afternoon hangout in a park nearby.


Beautiful weather for both man and bird alike.

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After that we caught up with friend and touring bandmember Mark Crozer for a pre-show meal.



In this day of instant social media reporting, the posts came fast and furious throughout the show.






All attention now turned towards the next show less than 24 hours away.


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Friday, September 25 presented New York one more opportunity to celebrate the power of this bands music through a unique concert experience. 



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Choosing to view the whole show from down on the main floor turned the experience into a physically exhilarating one.

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Wisely agreeing to attend this performance as "wingman" was the elusive legend Will ("William") DJ.   
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A view from the mad mosh pit that churned throughout the entire show.  The energy surging back and forth between audience and band took everything up another level.

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The Black Ryder once again opened the show.



This band has put out some truly inspired recorded works, and their live show here emphasized the best of those songs.


Welcome to the beehive.



Earlier in the day, the streets teemed with extra levels of security, as it prepared for The Pope to make his appearance in Central Park.


Fast moving New Yorkers buzzed all around.

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Opportunities emerged via the unexpected virtue of ignorance.


With appropriately named lounges nearby.






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This city can often frustrate you to the edge of nervous exhaustion, but along with that comes wonderfully magical experiences you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else.


12 comments:

Mirror said...

Tom Lugo writes:

Great write up Dave!. I'm still reeling from the show in Philly. They were fantastic, probably the best I have ever heard them do. Memorable experience for sure. Of course, I envy you... you actually have had the opportunity to hang out with them, I'm only a lonely spectator...lol. Love ya brother, Keep up the great work!

DaveCromwell said...

The work we do is a labor of love, Tom. I agree this is the best version of this band yet. There is an undeniable energy there that passes between performer and the audience. The perfect concert experience!

Misty said...

wow! so much amazingness here! i don’t know where to begin (other than i’m totally jealous).

i’ve loved this band for at least 25 of those 30 ‘anniversary’ years.

this coverage brings back so many of those memories and feelings i have about these timeless songs.

not only psychocandy in its entirety, but some of their best and most popular songs like “head on” and “blues from a gun.” the only thing that could have made this any better would be for them to add “between planets” to the set as well!

DaveCromwell said...

Well there certainly is a LOT of history “between” more than a few things here, Misty.

Which reminds me of another one of their songs (that totally hits the lyrical mark)

“Been a lot between us
And I guess there's more to come
We've been doing something right
But sometimes it goes wrong
We've been through places
And we won't be back again
We've been through faces
But I guess that never ends
I don't know what's goin' on
Have we done something wrong
I've been strange, I've been too strange
I've been to somewhere else and
I've been to strange”

Mirror said...

Vadim Baranov wrote:

Setlist! The security guy refused to give us Jim Reid's. It was left taped down to the stage.. I guess he needed it for the next night.

gotta be in front of the stage for this kind of shows!

DaveCromwell said...

Ha, ha. Probably true, Vadim! They played the exact same set on Friday. I was down front for that show. It was wild scene and the band sounded amazing from that location.

ViewFromSpookysDoghouse said...

I think the black and white stage photo is an absolute classic. Save that puppy. It should be an iconic visual of the DCWrites' historical record. Also compelling was the birds' group portrait. I mean, how did you cajole them to just... you know, pose like that? So picturesque. From its inspiration the following rumination sprang: that birds are free from the worries of facial recognition software. To say nothing of flight envy. And Jesus, William, and Mary! Our poor Man From Oz looks all tuckered out. What happened!?! Were chains involved? And speaking of chains, I'm sure I'm late to this, but if you say Mary Chain rapidly, it sounds like slang for a popular recreational and recently recognized medicinal substance. PS-I'm really glad you had a good time at both shows. PPS-that Mark Crozer name-that guy, he's famous, right? Sounds so familiar. I reckon he must have been Cromwelled in the past. Well, done, Dave! Bloggericious! ...what? after writing all that, I have to prove I'm not a robot! Jesus and Mary Chain!

DaveCromwell said...

Ha, ha VFSD! I truly laughed out loud at your witty prose here ;-) I know - this google "verify" nonsense. Could they make it any *more* of a pain in the arse?

Anyway - after all these years - I never made the possible connection between my favorite bands name and "weed" - but you very well *could* be on to something there. Since I am not one of those who's life revolves around the stuff - I frequently miss on all these "420" like connections. And yes - you are certainly correct in spotting that I've written about the brilliant music of Mark Crozer here a number of times. As for Will DJ's appearance in that quick snapshot I took - I think I just caught him off guard. He claims "not to like" having pictures taken of himself. Can you imaging that? In this selfie/self-conscious/selfish social network times - somebody *doesn't* want to "selfie?" It boggles the mind!

As you so accurately point out - even the birds are now doing it.

Mirror said...

Richard Jackson wrote:

Hello! Saw this setlist from the first NYC show and I've been racking my tiny brain what was different about it... it dawned on me, they played Blues... and NMRD, but they dropped Up Too High and Psychocandy to make way for them by the looks of it. They played them all as extras at the Roundhouse, probably trying out which ones would make it to the next batch of Psychocandy shows.

DaveCromwell said...

Well investigated, Richard! I actually thing "Blues" and "NMRD" fit better than those other two songs. Of course I wouldn't mind if they played them all! But - I realize they has to be *some* time constraints.

Mirror said...

David Schachter wrote:

Dave, how would you compare the stand and stare crowd this time around with 30 years ago? These kids were in front of Jim and texting...not much "energy" and little movement. Maybe they were too much in awe...

DaveCromwell said...

Hey David - like most everything in this life - your point-of-view / perspective of any particular situation - colors it. I suppose where you were located wasn't particularly lively. I saw pockets of that - but I also saw lots of activity in other areas. I see you went to the Thursday show. It was pretty active up in the balcony area I was located in. My friends (and I) were dancing madly. On FRIDAY - I positioned myself down front - dead center, two rows back. It was a wild mosh pit from first song to last! The whole band saw it - drew energy from it – becoming a glorious concert experience for all.