Standing tall as the resplendent royalty of the 90’s indie pop scene was the dreamy NYC natives Luna, and after being disbanded for over a decade they have now reconvened court to benevolently rule over all majestically ethereal harmonies. I first fell in love with frontman Dean Wareham’s vocal splendor in the 80’s in his previous darkly melancholy group Galaxie 500, but after that group broke up, he moved on to a more up-beat, enchanting, and heavenly project called Luna. This formation proved to be a real expansive kingdom for Dean’s supernaturally unique voice to reign, and the devoted fans were delighted with their visionary rule. However, after a decade or so, they were gone, although he continued to play and tour with the group’s bassist and harmony vocalist Britta Phillips (who was previously best known for things like being the singing voice of Jem in the Jem and the Holograms cartoon), whom he ended up marrying in a rather salacious story of breakups of musicians and marriages that can bring down empires. I caught one of the very first reunion shows of these four splendorous musicians a few years back at McCarren Park for the Northside Festival and I have been under their spell all over again ever since. Luna has recently released pair of EP’s, a collection of covers of everyone from The Cure to Bob Dylan, called A Sentimental Education and some new instrumental tunes, A Place of Greater Safety, and both continue to gently float you into new otherworldly worlds on the softest and most angelic of ways.
Opening the show was Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel, whom had also opened that very same first official Luna reunion show I saw a few years back. Forsyth is a master guitar virtuoso, and to see him shred is an otherworldly experience in itself. He studied guitar with Television’s Richard Lloyd in the 1990’s, and his earlier work was indeed very experimental, but his own matured style feels more raw and ready to let loose on a rippin’ solo. It probably helps that he has an extremely volatile power trio formation and very intense jazz frameworks to aide in the drawn-out jam-fest. He is an impressive talent to behold and definitely worth rockin’ out to.
“Welcome back Brooklyn,” said Britta a few songs in, and the love Luna felt for their hometown crowd was warm, fuzzy, and clearly very reciprocated by the packed house at the enormous new venue Brooklyn Steel, demonstrating that this band still holds a very massive following. The group blended their uniquely brilliant brew with many ingredients of rock greats past like the Velvet Underground and Talking Heads. Guitarist Sean Eden, who has been at Dean’s side since pretty much the beginning, really provided great heart-felt levity and powerful sway that allowed the songs top take off to other galaxies whenever they decided the wistful winds were calling. Britta and drummer Lee Wall have both been at his side since the late 90’s, and together they all form a wonderful royal family of dream rock. They mixed a set of their classics like “Chinatown,” “Friendly Advice,” “I Want Everything,” “23 Minutes in Brussels,” and even a surprise second encore of “Moon Palace” with covers like The Cure’s “Fire in Cairo,” Mercury Rev’s “Car Wash Hair,” and Evie Sands “One Fine Summer Morning,” with Dean, Britta, and Lee all taking turns fronting, and they even threw in the Galaxie 500 classic, “Tugboat.” It was a majestic night and further proved this band has a lot more brilliant artistic creation to go.
Article: Dean Keim