The Jesus & Mary Chain The Palace, Hollywood, CA06/16/98
In spite of the deception of their last album Munki that sounds old and could not recreate the sonic rage of their 4 first albums, we were impatient, heading to the concert of our old heros at the Palace in Hollywood, keeping in mind the sweet memories of their performances in Chicago, USA during the Automatic tour and in Marseilles, France for Honey's Dead.
The audience was reminiscent of a reunion of old noisy pop veterans at the end of the 80’s with the impression that everyone came to relive forgotten sonorous emotions. Surpassong the torture of the opening band whose name I have fortunately forgotten, the Reid brothers made their entrance.
To my great surprise Jim & William seem to have discovered the existence of hairdressers and sported almost Hawaiian like shirts, just like a Beach Boys reunion tour. As they usually do, they opened hostilities with a biting song, in this case "Degenerate", one of the rare pieces of Munki with the power to convince. From there they moved on to classics like "April Skies", "Head On", "Reverence" and extracts from later albums like "Cracking Up". We can only thank them for not bringing their sister along, while the absence of Hope Sandoval from Mazzy Star and "Perfume" was felt.
In contrast to the apogee of fuzz on Honey’s Dead, The Jesus & Mary Chain offered efficient but clean and structured versions of their repertory. Even if I missed the walls of noisy and incisive sound from their drum machine-overdrive cocktail from the Automatic period, I feasted on listening to their classics, their energy never having left them.
Far from the time when they gave 30 minute concerts with their backs turned to the audience, The Jesus & Mary Chain seem to have matured with age, a logical conclusion for a group that shook rock music up from its comatose torpor a dozen years ago.