Thurston Moore started a band and played a show. It was all whirlwind, heat and flash.
The former Sonic Youth frontman brought his new project, Thurston Moore Band, to the stage last night as part of the #BoldlyGo concert series, presented by Norton and Pandora. In celebration of their new record, The Best Day, an intimate audience of Pandora listeners was invited to Webster Hall’s private Marlin Room and treated to an open bar and limited-edition posters from the band.
The space was decked out with chic couches, a formal press wall, and lots of elegant brand placement. Whether you were entering, exiting, or just walking across the room, you were constantly required to flash your VIP pass to the security guards stationed about, which added to the exclusive feel.
Trying to write out a setlist for Thurston Moore Band is like trying to put toothpaste back into the tube. Snippets of verses ooze into freeform solos, new ideas bleed through every note, and the next song slides into place right when you least expect it. At the gooey center of it all, they performed “Forevermore,” “Speak to the Wild,” “Germs Burn,” “Detonation,” “Fri/End,” and a 30-minute encore of “Pretty Bad” and “Ono Soul.”
Rather than basking in the wild applause or launching into a song, they started off with the kind of attentive tuning you would hear from a professional orchestra. They weren’t afraid to take their time warming up, because they weren’t really there to put on a show. They were there to play music.
With flannel shirts and mussed hair, Thurston Moore Band almost had that boy-next-door-who-plays-in-that-garage-band look. But their sound was dead opposite, a powerhouse of intricate guitar work and focused musicality.
The juxtaposition was fascinating. Each member presented their skills so nonchalantly that it was less like they were blasting it at you from a stage and more like they were passing you a note in math class. Even after the lengthy jam session, fans were thirsting for more.
“The crowd seemed very attentive,” guitarist James Sedwards told FDRMX after their performance. “They definitely seemed to be watching and listening as opposed to just being there to be seen, or to try to be cool.”
“No one seemed to be reacting like ‘I wonder what this is.’ It’s like they knew what they were getting into.”