It’s been two decades since The Brian Jonestown Massacre started their meandering psychedelic music journey in San Francisco and finally, after many twists and turns, the road has brought them to Athens for their very first gig in Greece, a true psych-rock master class.
Happily for us, this visit happened in a period where the band has returned to great form, having just released the fine "Revelation", their 14th album, which sounds as good as anything they’ve released in their '90s heyday. Several of Anton Newcombe’s old comrades are back into the fold and their contribution to the band’s live sound has helped to achieve just the right chemistry for an excellent psych-rock trip.
For more than two hours, The Brian Jonestown Massacre performed songs from almost all of their records, to the delight of their numerous Greek fans who left the beaches and filled the sweat-soaked Fuzz Club on Monday night. Among the band’s older tracks, the opening "Whoever You Are", "Got My Eye On You", "That Girl Suicide", "Wisdom" and "When Jokers Attack" were some of those that stood out, while new tracks included "What You Isn't", "Food For Clouds" (my personal favorite off "Revelation"), "Goodbye (Butterfly)", "Days, Weeks & Months" and "Vad Hände Med Dem?".
All eight members of the band exude an effortless cool on stage as they go about their business, playing the laid-back, melodic grooves that make up the majority of their set, but what was most impressive was watching them switch gears towards the end of the show and taking off in a creative crescendo of psychedelic noise, equally indebted to the spirit of The Rolling Stones and The Velvet Underground as well as to the more recent sound waves of shoegaze.
The dark period for Anton Newcombe and his band depicted in the decade-old documentary "Dig!", is now well into the past. The Brian Jonestown Massacre of 2014 is creating great music once again and proves why it is rightfully considered one of the most influential bands of the neo-psychedelic rock scene which in recent years has risen once again, with the likes of Tame Impala or Temples. Get on board, this trip is about to start again…
The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Goodbye (Butterfly), live in Athens
The Brian Jonestown Massacre - That Girl Suicide, live in Athens