Monday, September 17, 2012

The Jesus and Mary Chain - live in New York City

Two consecutive nights.  The Jesus and Mary Chain played New York City on back to back nights, Thursday September 13 and Friday the 14th in this glorious year of 2012.  Well, perhaps "glorious" is too generous a description.  In fact, "uncertain" may be a better description for the current state of madness we find ourselves in - but for two amazing days, none of that mattered.  Of course I was in attendance for both of these shows.  Had planned on it the moment the dates were announced.

The brothers Reid were here to perform their brilliant pop songs for all of New York.

The current band of John Moore, Phil King and Brian Young were (naturally) on hand as well.
Having seen them play in Philadelphia just 5 days prior in no way lessened the excitement of seeing them again here on this Thursday night.

Big time concert lighting is a wonderful thing.  Here Jim appears to be doing his best
"Green Lantern"

John Moore ripped shards of psycho-enduced mayhem.

Phil King is about as solid a bass player you can get.  The quintessential professional musician.
Bathed in blue light
My basic angle of view for this show.  Pressed up against the front row cage, to (my) left of the stage.
Which made for great viewing of John Moore and all of his guitar mastery - but not so much for William.  This would be rectified on the following night.
Though you can see a bit of him there behind his brother - once again in a green light glow.
 The spinning white strobe lights from above created a heavenly angel effect.

The blue lighting felt the warmest, however.

What they played.

How did it sound, you might ask?  In a word - magnificent.  As good as (or possibly) even better than the show I saw in Philadelphia.  Chatting with Phil King afterwards, he said he thought it was the best show of the tour they had played so far.

Once again my friends The Vandelles opened the show!

Catching up with Honey Valentine at the merch table prior to their performance!

And hanging with the band - as well as the awesome David McDaniel - post show.

David has a great band of his own called Young Boys.  Check them out at this link:

The Vandelles set was even more explosive than the one I saw in Philly

The crowd was pumped and getting off on the sonic force.
Check out "Strange Girls Don't Cry" from this show:

Lightbursts to match the sound
Jas whipped the crowd into a frenzy
Lindsey and Honey delivered pulse and pummel
The Vandelles appear quite comfortable on the Big Stage
After all the performing had concluded, the festive post-show atmosphere was alive backstage.
Willaim Reid took a moment out of his busy schedule of chaos and madness to take this photo with me.  A treasured keepsake for sure!
Night Two - Friday
Ever wonder what it might be like to practially be on stage with a band who's music has been the inspirational soundtrack to your life? 
That's how is was for this show.
It's not really bragging, if all you are doing is stating a basic, simple fact.
Look and listen from this incredible point of viewing:

Having the opportunity to practially stand right behind Willaim Reid as he plays is something not soon forgotten.   It was, in fact, monumental.

A myriad of thoughts ran through my head as I tried to take it all in.  So, this is what it looks like from the artists point of view.   Seeing the faces of the crowd pressed up against the barricade.  Watching them sing along to every word of every song.

The band, or course, was rumbling through one classic song after another.  Choosing 17 of them, selectively, from their timeless studio recordings of over a decade ago.

Check out Teenage Lust from the impressive Honey's Dead album:

At the 2:00 minute mark, you'll see Jason, Lindsey, Honey all of us (friends of The Vandelles) dancing joyously to the music!

William appeared to be enjoying himself

And a hearty glug-glug of liquid fuel kept the machine chugging forward
"I have taken a vow - to prove myself
to find me
I'm regrettin' it now - 'cause I found me!"

Big rock shows have the best lighting.  Multiple hues wash over the audience and band alike.

The master plays to his audience.  Yes, he's a clown - and he once listed himself as 'fool' on inside album art.  He is all of those things - and a genius too.

For the two New York shows, the band brought on a very pretty and quietly sweet woman named Mary Blount to sing "Just Like Honey" with them.

Here it is: 

William talked about how "warm" the Orange amps gives his sound.

 The brothers

Fans in front - and fans (closer) on the sidelines


For the sixth and final time on this tour, the mighty Vandelles opened the show!

I have attended many of their shows over the years - but never witnessed it from this angle before.

The only thing that compares was catching UME's Showcase from the street at SXSW this year - and also covering The Ravonettes in full 360 view at Beekman Beergarden last year.

The band once again made the most of this important opportunty.
Lit up in green for the surf machine.

The packed house appeared to be enjoying every bit of this show.

The sights - the sounds - the smoke!  It was a tour-de-force of grand proportions.

Speaking of sounds - listen in from this unique perspective - as we check on the current climate:

A crush of hues
Honey's good tonight
All Aloha

Concert views to enhance that sunny day rain
One more time from the maestro!

Together - forever - or at least for this moment in time.
Once again, there was post-show shenanigans.
It's truly and honor and a privilege when Jim Reid looks your way and waves.  This, after nearly two days of him spending the bulk of his public New York time in deep conversation with people he needed to catch up with.  From my perspective, he appears to be leading the band, not only on stage, but through a quietly determined presence as well.
I also enjoyed getting to know (a bit) and chatting with current band drummer Brian Young.  He appears to have all the qualities necessary to succeed in this particular situation.  That is the ability to play well under pressure, while maintaining a level of comraderie with his bandmates.
Then there is William.  Somehow over the years I had gotten the impression that he was this unapproachable, aloof individual.  As it turned out, at the post-show bacchanal - he was anything but.
Oh, I'm sure most of the time he still doesn't want those "friends in every part of town" that he knows (but doesn't hate) "hanging around."
But - at various times throughout the two days - we discussed - California - the beach - his three sons - he arm wrestled me (standing up) - told me (and another dude who was also talking him at the time) that - even though we were "beautiful" - that he was going to "look for some chicks."
Finally - at the end of the second day - at around 2:00 in the morning - as I'm heading towards the door - he's left standing there - and I simply said to him - "William - write more songs."  A pause.  I continue  " you are a great songwriter."  Another pause - to which he simply said "Thank you."
I'd like to believe this was a momentary lucid moment for us both.
Why not?
Strange things happen every day.


Unknown said...

Holy crap! As always, not only was the article awesome but I'm envious as hell!! Keep up the awesome work Croms!!!

DaveCromwell said...

You are the coolest of the cool, Erin.

deadmandeadman said...

...and once again you take us deep into the night where the 'shadows run from themselves'. Your photographic perspective eschews the pedestrian "rock star" oeurvre in favor of the fan's view...candids that reveal a little about your subjects.
Coupled with your direct & conversational prose, its like being there with you.

DaveCromwell said...

Such eleoquence, deadsy! Seriously appreciated.

Misty said...

utterly amazing coverage, dave. they are my all time fave band. i'm so happy they are playing 'between planets' ! ! !

Ivanka said...

this is cool!
good sound, good lookin' I mean it's totally cool!

DaveCromwell said...

It is in fact, the coolest cool - as well as the meanest mean and the sickest sick!

Andy Von Pip said...

"Ever wonder what it might be like to practially be on stage with a band who's music has been the inspirational soundtrack to your life? " Well yes !

Looks like a remarkable experience, I hope we get a chance to take these classics songs in live again over here in the UK. Otherwise I will be getting the mask having "a word"

Patricia Mena said...

This is a wonderful job Dave. Great photos, great band. Like so much "Strange girls don't cry" cool rhythm and Between Planets, so danceable for me i wanted to jump many times hehe. :)

DaveCromwell said...

Paty, the tunes are most certainly there to "jump" to. It was a perfect storm of sights and sounds. As AVP there knows so well - these songs - they just keep living on us.

Mr Smork said...

cool photoblog.

Anonymous said...

Great review Dave. Cool photos

William said...

wow man- so cool when you get to meet people you look up to and respect and talk with them on an equal footing - im sure it will be a moment in your life you wont forget for a long time! and hey- the vandelles are always awesome so great to see them doing well too!

Spike said...

Dave, your extensive ambitious post here transported me to the dark fiery venue and arranged for me to finally hear what the Jesus and Mary Chain actually sound like, only twenty-odd years late. Any favorite studio hit that you might suggest as the best way to addict me to them? Tell the Vandelles' Honey that I really liked her striped dress. As drummer, she gets more healthy exercise than her bandmates.