Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mazzy Star at Mill City Nights 11/12/13

I spent a lot of time listening to Mazzy Star as a teenager. Alone. With just candles lit. Feeling oh, so deep. I was reminded last night, as the familiar pluckings of "Into Dust" began that it was one of the first songs I made an effort to learn on the guitar. I'd forgotten what an impact they had on me as a teenager and how much I did really like them.

There was no photography or video allowed during the show - not that that stopped people. Which is why my lone photo is of my ticket stub. As soon as the lights dropped, cell phones went up to secretly record what was - for the longest time - just a pre-recorded track and a strange visual circling on the curtain behind the stage. Really, this went on for a long time. A little too long. The crowd immediately hushed when the lights went out, but after 5 minutes of nothing, people got antsy and chatter began.

But eventually Hope and the gang stepped out on stage. The stage was decorated with candlelight and next to Hope's mic stand was tall shelf-candle holder thing with lit candles placed throughout, a very full glass of red wine, and her tambourine hanging from it. There was also - what I first thought was - a small music stand next to her mic stand. But as she got up to the mic, she raised it so it was eye level with her, thus completely blocking her face for anyone who was to the left of the stage (including me). Turns out it was an iPad that she used to control the inbetween live song snippets that played. It was distracting. (I have to say, it's pretty ballsy to request no photos,videos, please turn cell phones off and then perform with an iPad blocking your face.)

After 16 years between albums, it would have been easy for them to come out and play completely new material, throw "Fade Into You" in for the encore and be done with it. But they really didn't shy away from the oldies. Including "Fade Into You" and the previously mentioned "Into Dust" we got "Halah", "Ride It On", "She Hangs Brightly", and "Blue Flower".

It was a good show. An interesting one. I was greatly appreciative of the attentiveness of the crowd. With such quiet songs, it would have been easy for talkers to drown them out and cause a disruption.

It was also my first time at Mill City Nights. My first takeaway was: Levels. Lots of levels. It needs some grit - to get used up some more. It felt very brand new. But overall, it's a good venue. My husband and I both commented that it felt like a movie set. And with the opener Psychic Ills rolling threw a Jesus and Mary Chain influenced set (that I really enjoyed), he brought up The Crow comparisons right away.

It was like 1994 all over again.

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