Monday, April 25, 2016

Lush/Tamaryn, April 25, 2016 at the Roxy

I was getting into Lush back in the ‘90s at the same time as “Ladykillers” but at least it was an entry (one I should have connected to earlier but was helped along by my pen-pal Stephen), just before they broke up abruptly. I remember seeing an ad in the Weekly for the Glass House show they did back then, and knowing that it would have been a great show but not obsessed with them yet enough to get out to see it. I didn’t put much hope into them getting back together, since I know I missed that moment, though I picked up the Sing Sing album (then put it back down again), and figured they never recapture that moment that I missed. But their front-women were still alive, even if Miki had moved out of music (though answered the phone when Spin called to see what she was up to those days, more than once), so there was still a chance, but also a chance of mounting some comeback that would involve new music that would distract from the classic stuff I didn’t get until late. And so, as all bands do eventually, they reformed, which was fortunate for anyone to pay for wrongs done years ago. Though they never broke America (by not being sugary or slutty enough), they were big enough to sell out the Roxy in a second, and I happened to get in for tickets (you can't win unless you try). Even if they were only together to play Coachella, we’d already sworn off that fest, though they would have been a band that would make me even remotely consider it, just for them and even a shortened set. But this was also a band playing a festival doing other dates around it -- since they’re around anyway -- and getting around the proximity clause to make it possible for us, and to get a full set to boot. There’s a convoluted story about that show (how I originally would have missed it for Carla’s mom’s retirement party, then some minor miracle for the band to postpone that show then come up with a date I could make that wouldn’t threaten my marriage (but meaning I had to cancel the flight I booked to go to the San Francisco date)), but it got to include Josh, a buddy from work who had a story about meeting Miki in Chicago that always had me mystified. (This was also a trade with him for the Autolux tickets a few months later.) And so we got to experience the band again (or for the first time), and in a club that might have been small for them even on their first album. This show might have even been better, since they stuck to their best stuff, pushing Gala harder than it got over here, not bothering with any of the pandering lower-lights from Lovelife, and airing one of the tracks from the new EP, even if it was enough that they didn’t have to make a show of trying so hard to avoid a best-of set, which is what we wanted anyway. Up there, under the lights, they looked like this could have been a month after they last stepped off the stage, especially Miki (another rock crush). After this test for demand/warm-up, they did a full tour but I skipped it, knowing that trying to top this show would have just been greedy and foolish (though Carla reconsidered passing on it for a moment). I could finally live with having missed them the first time around. Opening the show was a special bonus, being Tamaryn, a moodier, more lavish cousin to Lush's early stuff, that Carla had gotten me into. I may not go to shows for the openers anymore but it’s a treat to get on something already familiar but, even better, might have seen on their own. (And I’ll skip the story of embarrassing myself in front of Ms. Tamaryn.) There may or may not have been a reason all those ‘90s girl-bands were getting back together at the same time, but if it was an epidemic, I didn’t have a problem being taken over by it.

Lush’s set-list:
“Undertow“ (Spooky remix; intro)
“Kiss Chase“
“Light From a Dead Star“
“Lit Up“
“For Love“
“Out of Control“
“Sweetness and Light“

“Desire Lines“
“Leaves Me Cold“