Monday, May 23, 2011

Photos: Thurston Moore @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Thurston Moore @ Music Hall of Williamsburg 5/21/11

 Thurston Moore @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, May 20th, 2011

Thurston Moore is undeniably one of the more iconic figures of the NYC music scene, being one of the most prolific and prevalent musicians of the past three decades. And so when he takes the time to record a solo album with another iconic figure of music on production duties (Beck), it's a pretty special event. To celebrate, Thurston played a show with a full band to support him at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday night.

With the single strum of his guitar, it was impossible to forget that you were hearing the unique and incomparable Thurston Moore playing mere feet away from you. You could blame the alternative tuning methods he uses for that distinct sound, but I suspect it's more than just that. It's the absolutely gorgeous way in which he plays that reminds you he's one of the most innovative guitarists and songwriters of our time. Opening with "Mina Loy" and "Blood Never Lies" from the new album Demolished Thoughts, and with an endless loop of slow motion black & footage as the backdrop, Mr. Moore set the stage for the night. This was to be a mellow performance in comparison to the intensity of a typical Sonic Youth show, but would still carry the edge and euphoria you would expect from a performer such as himself.

Other songs off the album, "Space" and lead single, "Benediction" came off absolutely beautiful with the addition of harp and violin, his drummer and additional guitarist present but never once drawing more attention than needed. The highlights of his 80 minute set were the extended jams that closed "Orchard Street" and "Circulation," in which Thurston would play higher and higher on the neck of his guitar, so high in fact you were afraid he would run out of room and would have no choice but to spontaneously combust. Luckily, that didn't happen. But the bliss that Moore created onstage transcended into the crowd, and during those intense moments of his frantic strumming, the somewhat paralyzed audience would shot out almost involuntarily in appreciation. In between songs, Thurston would dedicate songs to openers I Feel Tractor (who were great) and poet Eileen Myles (who was also great) and briefly chat with the crowd about his family members in the audience, the impending Rapture, and yes, Bridesmaids. "I thought it was a masterpiece," Thurston stated.

If you haven't already pre-ordered Demolished Thoughts directly from Matador, you still have until 11:59pm tonight to enter our contest and win a copy on double LP vinyl (which includes the download code for the album in mp3 format). Thurston plays a free show tonight at Other Music at 8pm. Full set of photos (including the setlist) from Thurston's set on Friday are below...