Bed head, feedback, black spectacles. Of course. In fact, there must have been a bed positioned right off stage for bed head hair styling. The crowd included a number of aging Thurston Moore lookalikes. (In 1986 a lot of people wanted to be just like Thurston.) The only thing missing at this show was Billy Ruane standing in front of the stage conducting the band. RIP Billy.
Thurston read poems and told some funny stories between songs. He said that in the late 1980s, Sonic Youth played a show here and he had a freak-out in the middle and was so mad that he threw down his guitar and stormed off the stage. The set continued without him. It was the middle of Winter, and he went out to the tour van, zipped into his parka, and just sat there until the rest of the band came out.
He’s mellowed out since then, like most of us. The setup was two acoustic guitars, drums, violin, and harp. The show had an “unplugged” feel, but occasionally built to a mild feedback frenzy (harp feedback?). That seems to be the thing now: acoustic guitars through heavy distortion. I enjoyed watching drummer and Boston native John Moloney, who managed the dynamics nicely while sporting a Black Flag logo on his kick drum.
Kurt Vile opened but we walked in just as he was finishing his last number. After the show, we went to the Burren, where two different folky sets were going on, one in the front playing the theme from “Smokey and the Bandit” and the other in the back which I couldn’t hear very well. Thurston had announced he was coming over to the bar after the show, but he never appeared. Our friend Jeremy told us how Sonic Youth slept on his couch in Hartford one night. Everyone at the Burren had a beard, including the women. Davis Square is so great that I wish I was 21 again. I plan go there more often when they build a high speed tunnel from Jamaica Plain.