Saturday, September 23, 2006

An Old Familiar Tune- Mission of Burma and 50 Foot Wave @ the Troubadour September 22, 2006

So…. when bands get up there in years, do they all need to take breaks in the middle of sets? I’m just putting the question out there. Last night, Mission of Burma made a stop at the Troubadour with opening act 50 Foot Wave, which I believe is Kristin Hersh’s new band, or possibly side project, I don’t know.

I was more surprised at being able to pick out Kristin Hersh than I was with the music. I’ve seen Throwing Muses several times and also her solo work, but I was not prepared to see her shrieking out at the audience last night. What I love about her is her witty, often caustic lyrics. But, mostly this was just noise with no discernable words. Sigh.

With all my internal bitching about ticket prices, Mission of Burma played an incredibly long set which in the end shut me up about the pricing. Granted they had a 15 minute “intermission” (is this normal? Is this something they do at the Troubadour?) but that aside, technically they did two sets and an encore including “That’s When I Reach for My Revolver”. The amazing thing about MoB is that, even though musically they are spanning several decades worth of material when they play live, the songs still seamlessly fit together. There aren’t huge contrasts where you can say, this song is distinctly from ’79 but this is 2004. Maybe that’s why they are considered one of the top influential bands coming from their original era, they’re consistent and that’s not bad.

Covering songs from all three official releases, some standouts were: Academy Fight Song, This is Not a Photograph, 2wice, and lots more I can’t remember but were excellent all the same. Although the energy was pretty constant, I felt as if something was lacking with the performance. I can’t put my finger on it, so perhaps the problem was lying with me. Either way, I can now be satisfied with the knowledge that I’ve seen Mission of Burma; one of life’s little items on the checklist crossed off.

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