It was a great evening for lovers of true alternative '80s music to have The Jesus and Mary Chain stop in Indianapolis at The Vogue in Broad Ripple. The night club was packed tight with nostalgic 30 and 40-somethings who may have remembered seeing them perform in the glory days of Lollapalooza in 1991 when the festival actually toured the States. The band hit the stage and opened with "Snakedriver," and continued to bring the hits from their past, such as "Head On," which was covered by The Pixies, "Blues From A Gun," "Sidewalking," "Some Candy Talking," "Happy When It Rains," and "Halfway To Crazy." Throughout the set, lead singer Jim Reid would apathetically mumble into the microphone between songs; his body language would indicate that his discontent was directed at his guitar-playing brother, William Reid -- who many have let himself go over the years, now almost resembling Buzz Osborne from The Melvins. William Reid performed slightly sloppily and almost botched the beginning of the band's most popular song, "Just Like Honey," with brother Jim mumbling incoherently to the crowd, possibly asking for forgiveness before singing his lyrics. Comparatively, Jim Reid's vocals sounded nearly perfect, despite one clear comprehensible moment when he told the audience that he had been having throat problems recently. Before the band closed their set with "Reverence," the audience begged for more songs and resulted in Jim Reid comically explaining to the crowd with his dry wit that they would be back for some encores after everyone screams and shouts, then half-heartedly threw his arms up mockingly and said "Woo Hoo!" in the microphone. The band came back on stage as promised and encored with "The Hardest Walk," "Taste of Cindy" and "Never Understand." For hardcore Jesus and Mary Chain fans, this show was a religious experience. To several curiosity seekers, the results were polarizing between great and disappointing.
The Psychic Paramount opened with their brand of instrumental progressive psychedelia andhypnotized the audience with their flashing lights and clouds of fog. The band had moments of greatness although each of their songs came across like super extended long endings.
Crowd warmer, Rollinghead, were strangely mismatched to play on this bil, playing bar rock complete with yarling vocals. One observer told me, "If this band entered a local Indianapolis Battle of the Bands, they would lose!" I completely agreed.