Jesus and Mary Chain

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Average User Rating 8.74
Total Reviews 1
Last Reviewed August 20th, 2006
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Venue/Date: House of Blues Anaheim (Anaheim, CA)
Concert Date:  
October 26th, 2007
Reviewer: aceshooter

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No kinks in the Jesus and Mary Chain

The Scottish group shows a more mature side in Anaheim but plays old favorites with renewed vitality.

By Chuck Mindenhall, Special to The Times

Perhaps the Jesus and Mary Chain was the first band to truly capture the art of sounding like bad radio reception, but the white noise from which singer Jim Reid's power-yearn emits is still very much tuned in. This is evident in the first single that the Scottish group has released in nearly a decade, "All Things Must Pass," which thundered Monday at the Anaheim House of Blues audience like a lost track from "Psychocandy." And yet there was something in the aloof cool of Reid -- who looks nowadays like a less-enthusiastic Thom Yorke, mustering but one brief smile in the course of the night -- that suggested the track's title might be something quite literal.

Although the Jesus and Mary Chain was never as popular in the U.S. as in Europe, the band's presence at Coachella last spring after a nine-year hiatus rekindled a lot of enthusiasm as to what it might dream up next.

The paradox was always that the Jesus and Mary Chain purposely sounded more live on its earlier albums, such as 1984's "Upside Down" and "Psychocandy," than it did live. That is still true, though the stage show is predictably different and distinctly matured.

Reid's hair is no longer the black Gothic geyser it once was, and this version of the Mary Chain is not likely to incite any riots. But there was renewed vitality in the old favorites such as "Some Candy Talking" and "You Trip Me Up" and a rejuvenated feel to "Sidewalking" and the feedback-saturated "Never Understand."

Though Reid was terse, leaving the interstices between songs to mike shirks and modulation drone instead of chitchat, he's a master at building audience anticipation -- so that when the first chord is struck, as in "Blues From a Gun," it's epic.

Toward the end of the night, when the band got around to playing the quasi-hit "Just Like Honey," followed by the boy-girl classic "Sometimes Always," the sway of the room was moving. Reid threw his hands up and bashfully said, "Thank you," and mumbled something indistinguishable, which was about the only singer-audience interaction all night.

One fan screamed out, "I love you too," taken once again by the bad reception.

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