The Brian Jonestown Massacre at Commodore Ballroom

Sunday 29th, May 2016 / 16:58
By Jennie Orton
The Brian Jonestown Massacre at Commodore Ballroom. Photo: Bev Davies

The Brian Jonestown Massacre at Commodore Ballroom.
Photo: Bev Davies

May 23, 2016

VANCOUVER — There are two types of people who go to a Brian Jonestown Massacre show — those who have read storied accounts of lead singer and mastermind Anton Newcombe having headline bait meltdowns on stage, and those who have always known about the band’s otherworldly skills at gripping psych jams. The second group was given exactly what they were after when BJM melted our brains all over the Commodore Ballroom at the tail end of the May long weekend. Playing a great assortment of tunes from their back catalogue, Newcombe and his crew of weary but loyal comrades also gave us big meaty tastes of 2015’s Mini Album Thingy Wingy. The throbbing, psychedelic “mini” masterpiece was served well on a live stage, leaving room for long solos and the kind of overlapping guitar you can follow into the bright orange stage lights and fog, like you are watching them drive down the well-worn paths in the desert of your mind. “Here Comes the Waiting for the Sun” in particular plays very well live; its ridiculously high stakes, lonely roving lead, relentless rhythm, and the always indelible tambourine courtesy of fan favorite Joel Gion make it into a road trip you feel like you’ve been personally invited along on. BJM (also known as the band you love to hate and the band you hate to love) has come a long way, through many minefields of creativity and personal strife, but one thing has always remained and was well on display this evening: this band is dangerously intriguing and really good at what they do.

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Alberta

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