Monday, September 28, 2015

The Jesus and Mary Chain - The Black Ryder -- 9:30 Club - Sep 27 2015

by John Miller

The Black Ryder - Tonight’s show begins quiet.  But I guess that is to be expected considering the music is slow and completive. It is a stark difference compared to the early days of The Jesus and Mary Chain. The Black Ryder takes the whole shoe gazing thing and runs with it--Slow, methodical and polished. I am well aware of how this may make me sound but the softer, magical pieces sounded like they could be found on the soundtrack to the film The Crow.

The vocal duties are split between both Aimee Nash and Scott Van Ryper; Nash takes the reins on the slower pieces evoking Belinda Butcher of My Bloody Valentine and Ryper sings on the more up tempo stuff. Ryper’s vocals, in particular, were overpowering; lots of feedback, scratchy. As the set continued the levels were evened out and most of the earlier issues were but a memory.

There weren’t many solos tonight but I don’t know that this type of music necessarily merits wild, soul barring riffs. As I said earlier, this is slow, even the up tempo stuff is on the slower side; lots of nodding along and contemplating whether or not the chipped paint on the floor of the 9:30 Club can tell the future. A little bit spooky and a great compliment to The Jesus Mary and Mary Chain.
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Let’s be honest here, reviewing The Jesus and Mary Chain is like taking an introduction to Shakespeare; what more can be said about them? They have been around for so long that everything that needed to be said has been said. I guess what really matters here is can they still play and is the crowd receptive?

Tonight The Jesus Mary Chain will be playing the entirety of their seminal album Psychocandy. They begin tonight by letting the middle-aged crowd know that they would be playing two separate sets with a short intermission between the two. The first set was a primer of sorts, prepping the crowd for the main show. Despite that, being a primer, the first seven songs flew by and by the end everyone was drunker, ready to continue dancing, and forgetting the beginning of the week was just a few hours away. Running through a collection of material that ranged from April Skies to Reverence the night got progressively louder and I was wondering if not wearing earplugs were a wise option. I thought Mike Krol was loud Sunday, I can’t imagine how loud it was for those in the front row tonight; the fuzz, the feedback. My head is going to explode.

I’m not quite sure when this type of concert originated; one where a band plays the entirety of a specific album. It seems that it’s a relatively new thing. I was unsure how it would play out; would the set list match the album’s track listing? Would there be any variation in composition? The show actually ended up being pretty straightforward in regards to Psychocandy. They begun with Just Like Honey and ended with It’s So Hard. It’s important to remember that this album shares more in common with Sonic Youth’s earlier material than the shoe gazing they have become known for. Aside from a few songs, the majority of the album is noise, the good kind of noise. So it was an interesting choice for Black Ryder to open the show considering their influences.

So to answer my previous questions; could The Jesus and Mary Chain still play and was the crowd receptive? Yes and Yes. Even though the audience was certainly lively, moving throughout the evening, the show unfortunately did not devolve into a riot. A far cry from the 25 minute sets they were known for when Psychocandy was released. A fantastic show all around.

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