Monday, August 8, 2011

Photos: Mission of Burma @ Beekman Beer Garden

Mission of Burma @ Beekman Beer Garden - August 7, 2011

What's to be said about Mission of Burma that I haven't already said? Not much. Except that even on one of the hottest, most humid days this summer, the trio still brought an incredible performance to the Beekman Beer Garden yesterday leaving a sweat-drenched crowd wanting more even after two ear-splitting encores. Not to say I wasn't expecting as much, but their setlist at this particular show reminded me of how seamlessly their newer material has blended into the overall Burma canon, never once sounding out of place or irrelevant.

Case in point: After opening with the excellent new song "Second Television," (which I heard them play at Space Gallery in Portland, ME a few months ago), Burma dove straight into crowd-pleaser "This Is Not A Photograph" without a second's hesitation. With Clint Conley's fuzzed-out bass, Roger Miller's incomparable slide guitar techniques, and Pete Prescott's drill-sergeant screams from behind the kit, Mission of Burma never cease to shock me with just how fucking good they are live. Up next was a trio of songs off of 2009's The Sound The Speed The Light, "Comes Undone," "Good Cheer" and "1, 2, 3 Partyy!!" before digging deep into 1982's Vs. by playing "Dead Pool," a song I don't think I've heard played live apart from the time they played Vs. start-to-finish. You get the idea. This band could pull out a song that didn't even make the cut to The Horrible Truth About Burma and it would still be amazing.

Though tape-looper Bob Weston (aka the man who has either engineered or produced every great indie record in the past twenty years) was not at the show, the band showed no signs of loss. Shuffling through tracks off of The Obliterati ("2wice" and "Spider's Web") and material off of their upcoming fifth album, Burma ended their initial set with a trio of older songs, playing "Mica," "That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate," and ending with "Red." But as is usually the case with Burma, their encore was what really made the show phenomenal. After ending "1001 Pleasant Dreams," Conley went immediately into "Peking Spring," which of course sounded as crunchy and energetic as ever. My only concern was that the song has a very finite ending and not exactly something you can follow up with right away.

They did leave the stage at this point, but it was obvious that not a single person was going anywhere, forcing the band to return for yet another encore. Roger Miller cursed us all for forcing them to play in such horrible humidity, but Clint reassured us that they had prepared a "set" for us. Playing the opening chords to "The Ballad of Johnny Burma," (a.k.a. my favorite Mission of Burma song... ever), I pretty much lost my shit, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Another song I've only seen them play live once before, it was quite the treat, and following it up with the anthemic "Academy Fight Song" only made it one of the most memorable days of the summer.

The Labor Pool, a band that has some seriously great songs, opened the show while the crowd began shuffling in. I wish I could find more information about them, but in the meantime check out their bandcamp page and be on the lookout for any future shows. Below, check out a full set of photos of both bands, as well as Mission of Burma's complete setlist...

The Labor Pool

Mission of Burma

Mission of Burma  - Beekman Beer Garden - August 7, 2011
Second Television
This Is Not A Photograph
Comes Undone
Good Cheer
1, 2, 3 Partyy!
Dead Pool
Sectionals in Mourning
Spider's Web
Forget Yourself
Dust Devil
That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate

Encore 1:
1001 Pleasant Dreams
Peking Spring

Encore 2:
The Ballad of Johnny Burma
Academy Fight Song

1 comment:

  1. Phenomenal show! What a killer setlist.