Monday, January 23, 2012

Photos/Review: Mission of Burma @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Mission of Burma @ Music Hall of Williamsburg - January 19, 2012

Photos & Review: Chris

There really isn’t too much to say about a Mission of Burma show in 2012 that you couldn’t say to describe any of their live performances of the past decade since their reunion in 2002. But “reunion” may not be the best word to use, as with three incredible Burma 2.0 records to their credit, I think “reemergence” is much more fitting. Their posthumous 1985 live album The Horrible Truth About Burma was a tongue-in-cheek reference to their inconsistent live show during their original incarnation, but I’d have a hard time describing an instance where I walked out of Mission of Burma show disappointed in the 20+ times I’ve seen them since 2004. It’s just never happened.

Case in point: their excellent performance at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday, which if the reception they received was any indication, held up as one of their finer Brooklyn performances of recent memory. Playing a large portion of their still-can’t-believe-how-amazing-it-holds-up 2006 record The Obliterati, opening with “Donna Sumeria,” and eventually playing “2wice,” “Spider’s Web,” “Let Yourself Go,” “1001 Pleasant Dreams,” the band also shuffled through classics like “This Is Not A Photograph,” “That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate,” and “Mica,” --still as abrasive and punk as ever. And I think it may have been only the second time I’ve seen them whip out the incredible “Fun World.” Not to mention, unlike the last two MoB shows we’ve been to, Bob Weston was working his magic behind the board on the tape loops, providing that very unique sound that has become synonymous with Mission of Burma.

The kicker is always when they finish their encore, and the crowd refuses to leave. I’ve yet to see another band garner as much enthusiasm from a crowd for a 2nd encore as I have with Burma, but it happened once again on Thursday night—which the band jokingly begrudged the audience for not leaving. “We better get paid extra for this!” Roger Miller joked—before going into “Red” and finally, the great “Academy Fight Song.”

No, they didn’t play “Revolver,” and I must say that my favorite Burma shows are the ones when they skip it. It speaks volumes of a band’s repertoire when they can bypass their most well known song and still leave a crowd 100% satisfied. While we patiently await the forthcoming fifth Mission of Burma album (it’s happening, I swear), take a look at a full set of photos below from Thursday night, including openers The Static Jacks and EULA, as well as Burma’s setlist…

Mission of Burma – Music Hall of Williamsburg – 1/19/12
Donna Sumeria
Forget What You Know
1, 2, 3 Partyy!
Sectionals in Mourning
Man in Decline
Max Ernst’s Dream
Let Yourself Go
Einstein’s Day
Dust Devil
Semi-Pseudo Sorta Plan
This Is Not A Photograph
Fun World
That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate

Spider’s Web
Reflected (Alice Cooper)
Class War (The Dils)

2nd Encore:
Academy Fight Song


  1. The Cooper song was called Reflected actually, it's off the album Pretties for You. They did it in Boston on saturday night too.

  2. Fixed - thanks! How was Saturday?

  3. Brilliant as always. It's sickening how much I count on that band being brilliant, and they deliver every time. Opened with Fun World and Rog on trumpet. We did get Revolver but no Academy, 7s was on the set, but not Semi-Pseudo Sorta Plan (they're similar enough that I was worried only one would make the new record, but if they're playing both there's hope, because they're great pop-Buzzcocks songs)