Saturday, October 3, 2015

Luna at Terminal West, Atlanta, October 2, 2015

Last night, the band Luna played the first show of their first American tour since 2005 with a set at Atlanta's Terminal West that included a performance of their 1995 album, Penthouse, in its entirety.

Atlanta's Matt Hollywood & The Bad Feelings opened.

Matt Hollywood is a founding member and integral part of The Brain Jonestown Massacre who recently has settled in Atlanta.  The band included a guitarist and a tambourine player (sorry, I should know their names but I don't) who both work as sound persons for the 529 club here in town.

Not surprisingly, The Bad Feelings play sludgey psych-rock with lots of guitar interplay (there are a total of three guitarists in the six-person band) and long song structures.  The songs included titles like Drugs and Drugsick in case the droning, psychedelic sound was too subtle to grasp the reference.  

Luna started their set around 8:50 (the evening was billed as an early-starting show).

It was a great set and Luna sounded crisp and tight, but I really have to say something about the predominantly male audience.  This is not by any means a knock against the band, but according to the Urban Dictionary, "bros" are "Obnoxious partying males who are often seen at college parties. When they aren’t making an ass of themselves they usually just stand around holding a red plastic cup waiting for something exciting to happen so they can scream something that demonstrates how much they enjoy partying. Nearly everyone in a fraternity is a bro but there are also many bros who are not in a fraternity. They often wear a rugby shirt and a baseball cap. It is not uncommon for them to have spiked hair with frosted tips.  Bros actually chose this name for themselves as they often refer to each other as 'bro' even though they are not related."

The room was packed with bro Luna fans who before the set began made a point of telling everyone around them how big of a fan they were and challenging the loyalty of other bros who weren't expressing sufficient enthusiasm for the upcoming show.  "Luna's back, man!" one bro shouted repeatedly to no one in particular while waiting for an open stall in the men's room before the encore. No one gave a high five to his upheld hand because we were in the men's room and, you know, germs.  

Yes, Luna are back, but it isn't like music itself had ended or, for that matter, there weren't performances by frontpersons Dean Wareham and Britta Prillips as Dean and Britta and The Dean Wareham band performing Luna songs since 2005 (the DWB played The Earl earlier this year).  I'm not saying the Luna reunion isn't a good thing (it is) - I guess what I'm saying is I suspect the bros' exuberant enthusiasm was more to show up other bros and establish one's bro credentials than it was for genuine appreciation of the music.

So, back to the folks on stage.  Luna were obviously having a blast performing, and the songs from 1995's Penthouse sounded as fresh last night as they did pre-millennium.  After completing their performance of Penthouse, including the "hidden track" Bonnie and Clyde (Britta singing Laetitia Sadier's lines from the record), they played a five- or six-song encore starting with Pup Tent, the title track of the 1997 album that followed Penthouse.

In all, it was a 90-plus minute set, not at all marred but actually amusingly enhanced by the over-the-top enthusiasm of the bros.

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