Date: May 14th, 2017
Opening Band: The Cobbs
I’ve been a fan of the Jesus and Mary Chain for only a few years. I’m a newbie in that sense since they have been around since the 80s. I just never really listened to their music for whatever reason. I believe I’ve seen the “Head On” music video on MTV back in the day though. Then I discovered “God Help Me,” which Shane MacGowan of the Pogues performs on and after that, I branched out to other albums. This was also the first time being at Brooklyn Steel, in East Williamsburg.
I was coming from Jersey City and took about an hour/hour and five minutes on the PATH and L train. I got off at Graham Ave stop and then walk 10 minutes up on Woodpoint Rd and there is a big old steel factory building that has been converted into a music venue. It’s only been open for about a month and for the most part, I liked it. Although it was tough at times to see the stage but there were several spots that were higher than others on the ground floor. I stood by the wall most of the night. I liked this place better than Terminal 5 though; better sightlines and more options to stand. I’d have to see another show here to judge how the sound was. One thing I wish the venue had was wifi, but I guess not all venues offer that. At least with some venues in NYC, there’s some of those cable provider hotspots around. I suppose I just wanted it since I was close to going over my data allotment for this cycle. Not a biggie but would have been nice to have something like that. And venues, STOP with the bathroom attendants! I can get my own paper towels, thank you!
The opening band was The Cobbs from Philly. They were pretty good and had a similar sound to Jesus and Mary Chain. They played for about 40 minutes or so and the crowd was receptive to them. Don’t know much about them to really comment on anymore but I didn’t hate their set so I guess that’s a plus.
The Jesus and Mary Chain came on to the stage with lots of smoke and dark, red stage lighting. They made the photographers shoot from the sides of the photo pit which was beyond annoying but I was just happy to be there seeing the band for the first time. I knew based on previous show reviews the lighting was going to be rough. Shooting from the side was a bit of a monkey wrench but I made due with it. As long as there wasn’t a photo release! They opened with a new song “Amputation,” off their first new album in 20 years, Damage and Joy. That sounded good as well as the other new songs but the set was filled with a lot of classics like “April Skies” and “Head On;” which were played next. Those are my 2 favorites and I also love “Happy When It Rains,” but that’s about the only song I really like that WASN’T played that night.
For the most part, the band didn’t say much in between songs besides the usual thanks and how is it going out there kind of stuff. At one point, Jim Reid asked if everybody understood his accent since on previous shows people looked confused when he spoke. Sounded fine to me, believe me, I’ve been to Scotland before and had a hard time understanding some of the accents there. Other highlights for me included: “Far Gone and Out,” “Blues from a Gun,” “The Hardest Walk,” “All Things Must Pass,” and “Some Candy Talking.” I thought “All Things Must Pass” got the biggest applause for the night and deservingly so. Not sure if it was Jim or the venue but it was hard to hear him singing at times. The distortion and reverb of the guitars were loud where I was standing by the wall so I moved toward the back and it sounded better there.
The band finished up the set with “Reverence” and took a break for a few minutes. They came back to play a few with a female singer, although not sure if I caught her name. They played “Song for a Secret” off the new album and then “The Two of Us.” After that, they played “Just Like Honey” which sounded great! I left after that song since it was a Sunday night and needed to get to work early. I believe they played 5 more songs after that and I’m sure you can find some of the videos of them on YouTube.
I’m glad I got the chance to finally see The Jesus and Mary Chain and hope to get to see them perform again! They sounded awesome and it was cool to finally have heard their classics live instead of just the albums.
Here are some photos. All photos will be posted on SkaPunkPhotos.com soon: