Middle East Down
June 7, 2016
They took the lets-do-a-complete-album tack on this road trip. Instead of going with I Melts more lightweight disk, After the Snow, they went back one more click on the way-back machine and landed on their first full length the deeper, darker, artier Mesh and Lace. It seemed like a good percentage of the ¾ full Middle East crowd got on board with After the Snow but they were reasonably game. There was that one superfluous bleat play that song, play that song halfway through, as if it wouldnt happen.
The band sounded sharp. Greys vocals showed little sign of wear or tear. The synth lines certainly located the band in time and space but in Walkers hands - of one of the early practitioners - they were fat and juicy. The ringer was the relatively less than heralded Gary McDowell on guitar. His snakey, understated playing was everywhere, dark one minute, dancing the next and post punk angular on "The Incident" and "Gathering Dust" toward the end. In a suit and fedora that he must have scored in a Saville Row haberdashery dumpster he also served as a visual foil to the well-coiffed and Bowie teed Grey.
Speaking of Bowie, they encored with an almost rocking "The Jean Genie". And yes, to the crowds follow-the-bouncing-ball delight, they did play that song.