Monday, December 9, 2019

Live Shows: Thurston Moore Group, ONCE Ballroom, Somerville, MA 12/4/19

Photo via Facebook
Wednesday December 4 was one of those crazy nights in the Boston area where there are more amazing shows than you could think possible in a single night. Lightning Bolt was in Cambridge playing The Sinclair. Lucy Dacus and Haley Heynderickx were at Royale. Up in Portsmouth, NH Mannequin Pussy were playing. On a normal night I wouldn't be hesitant at all about a Thurston Moore experimental noise show, but when there was this much competition it was hard not to have a bit of FOMO before the show even started.

The crowd knew we were in for a non traditional concert seeing as the set up didn't include a microphone. There was no need since this would be an instrumental performance. The rest of the band (which included Steve Shelley (also formerly of Sonic Youth) and Deb Googe (My Bloody Valentine)) were set up facing Moore, and he was set up facing them. Throughout the show Moore acted more as a conductor or bandleader than a traditional rock frontman, letting out a "1 2 3 4!" or a nod when it was time to switch into the next musical segment.

The set started out fairly rough. The first five minutes or so was just Shelley's odd, noisy drumming and some electronic noises from a not-quite keyboard player. As it went on, guitars were slowly added, but grew very, very, very repetitive.

But then just as I started thinking that I really, really made the wrong choice for my evening of entertainment, the music switched. I can't truly explain how, but it seemed to slowly morph into a trip through all sides of Thurston Moore's musical history. Sure, there was the nearly impossible to listen to chin stroking music, but there was also some darker post punk, some of Sonic Youth's later years near hippie jams, and even some black metal vibes. There was really something for every fan of Moore's. Slowly, without even realizing it was happening, I got completely and utterly sucked into the music. What started out as a night that I thought might have been a mistake ended up being a night of unique music I'll never forget. 

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