Oh, 80s, how I have missed thee. Who can forget a decade defined by cocaine, roller blading, weird fashion, those great John Hughes movies and music that consisted of that cheesy synth Pop sound with beats that contained no bass. Last night’s Jesus and Mary Chain show at the Fox in Oakland included none of that but still managed to bring back some old memories for those of us that survived that fun period of time.
Promoting their new album, Damage and Joy, (the first in nine years) Jim and William Reid came to town a little grayer than when they were kids, but with the same swagger and cool disposition that made them famous when the band first broke back in the 80s.
They, unfortunately, disbanded in 1999 but then decided to give it another go in 2007 but didn’t release any music until now. At last night’s show, they kicked off the night with some of that new stuff, with a track off of the new album entitled “Amputation,” which sounded killer blasting out of those classic Orange amps that had “JESUS” plastered all over them.
What followed was a string of hits delivered in a subdued and chilled-out fashion, which the band has become known for. “April Skies”, “Blues From A Gun”, “Far Gone and Out” and “Head On” were all highlights among the many gems that night. And all were performed with not much talking. In fact, throughout the entire show, all I think I caught was the following phrase uttered at the beginning of the set: “You guys doing all right out there?” That and maybe a couple of thank yous here and there sprinkled for good measure.
The set was smokey, the light show minimalistic, and they performed in front of a rather poorly designed backdrop of alphabet soup. Somehow none of that seemed to matter since it was all about the music that night. These Scotish mates have a gift for writing timeless classics capable of bringing you back to those old high school dances where music meant so much more than just the music.
Far Gone and Out
Blues From a Gun
Cherry Came Too
The Hardest Walk
All Things Pass
Some Candy Talking
Halfway to Crazy
Nine Million Rainy Days