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The Jesus and Mary Chain – [Live]

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Friday, 26 October 2007

Coachella came and went. Some of us missed the unprecedented Jesus and Mary Chain reunion (read: ME), and the buzz has long been gone. And as exciting as a reunion can be, they can come and go like the 200 dollars you may have paid to see it (read: The Police…thanks for not coming back later guys).

Thankfully, this is not the case for the brothers Reid & co. who decided to turn the reunion into a full tour, and are currently working on their seventh LP—although they didn’t mention it, let alone speak of much else. The extra layers of fuzz provided by “co.” and Loz Colbert’s impeccable drumming certainly didn’t hurt the bros Tuesday night at the Wiltern Theater when the Jesus and Mary Chain played their first Los Angeles show since 1998. Jim and Will still know how to stand their ground, and they seem to be getting along enough well enough for the long haul.

Openers Evan Dando and lifetime JAMC fans Black Rebel Motorcycle Club had finished their sets by the time most of the crowd arrived at a shockingly early 9:30p.m., but everyone was there to see the one band anyway. JAMC opened the set with the charming classic “Never Understand” from Psychocandy, and included as many poppy downers as it did shrieking amp-frequency jams, catering to an audience of dedicated, nostalgic fans. Thankfully, there weren’t many JAMC teenyboppers there.

For a first-timer like me who had never witnessed the shoegazing mantras play out in their prime (give me that eyes-on-feet austerity, those head-bashing frequencies), JAMC did a great job of translating it from my glorious headphone memories into real time. Jim Reid was strong and looming behind the mic, carrying his still solid vocals, and Will was focused on only one thing: leading those walls of guitars.

“Just Like Honey” featured vocals from an unrecognizable girl Jim introduced as “our friend Miranda (Parker),” and was followed by the Stoned and Dethroned duet favorite, “Sometimes Always.” While the execution in both was a bit rocky, the amazing musicianship on the stage more than made up for it, particularly when the band unveiled old noisy favorites like “Blues From a Gun,” with one of the most intense extended jam sessions. “Snakedriver” was another mind-numbingly blissful session, and the new song, “Amputation,” is definitely worthy of the canon. JAMC’s set was well-paced, never dragging, and generous: there were soft white lights illuminating the audience’s faces for most of the night, and though the Reids didn’t say much, “Darklands,” “Nine Million Rainy Days,” and “Reverence” dominated the encore, giving JAMC’s fans promise of more than just a reunion stint and (thank goodness) another discbox—I mean box set.

For more on JAMC, there seems to be more going on at this fansite: aprilskies.amniisia.com

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