The Jesus & Mary Chain Webster Hall, New York NY May 21
Published Jun 21, 2007The anticipation for the Jesus & Mary Chain's first East coast appearance in nearly a decade was palpable. Opening the set with a strangely sedate version of "Never Understand," which led into crowd-pleasers "Head On" and "Far Gone and Out," the band seemed a tad sloppy, which is understandable as this was only their third show since re-grouping for Coachella last month. Vocalist Jim Reid displayed the same sort of ambivalence to the proceedings that he has perfected over 20 odd years, not even bothering to address the crowd until midway through their hour-long set, and generally looking like being on stage was a massive inconvenience. But that's the thing with this band: they really could care less about you. While many bands have since aped their indifferent attitude (i.e. Oasis, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club), JAMC have always sulked their way through their live shows, which in their early days usually ended in pandemonium following their brief 20-minute sets. While there was no such chaos on this night, a handful of dance floor scuffles involving some overzealous frat-types brought a taste of the danger that JAMC shows used to evoke. The set-list mostly stuck to the band's numerous singles, including a goose bump-inducing "Some Candy Talking," "Happy When It Rains," and, of course, "Just Like Honey." One common complaint from the crowd seemed to be the lack of feedback in the set. A raucous version of "Reverence" capped their main set off, with Reid screaming the song's refrain of "I want to die!" with the sort of abandon that had been lacking from the rest of the show. While this mini-tour is an unabashed cash-grab, the debut of a new song towards the end of the set proves there's hope to be had that JAMC are truly back for good. We should only be so lucky.