US - New York - Full Moon 74 - 10/21/02
Live in Cologne, Germany 08.10.2002
Hard times for Dean Wareham, Sean Eden, Lee Wall and Britta Phillips: Five years after Luna
Kafé last caught up with them, four years after their last full European tour, the
four-piece from New York opened their latest tour this side of the big pond in Cologne, Germany
recently - in front of only 50 people! No wonder then, that the show - to tie in with the ticket
sales? - started out a bit slow. All four on stage looked very tired, no surprise, as they only
arrived from NYC 10 hours prior to showtime!
At the start of the show, Dean and Sean had major troubles with their guitars (they spent
more time re-tuning than playing) - and that a lot of people didn't seem to be familiar with the
songs from their most recent album Romantica (released earlier this year), which made up
most of the first half of the show, certainly didn't help either. It was a shame really, because
songs like the poppy "Lovedust", the unusually hard uptempo number "1995" or "Black Postcards"
(a little simpler live than on the album) are among Dean's best songs ever. Some of the "oldies"
like "Sideshow By The Seashore", "Tiger Lily" or "Pup Tent", fared a little better, but it wasn't
until "23 Minutes In Brussels" quite late in the set, that Luna sounded every bit as magic as you
would think they do. Because Luna ARE are fantastic live band, with ever changing guitar solos,
that are often long, but never boring and always inventing.
Because the tour started in Germany, "The Slow Song" (sung in German) obviously was a highlight
as was the last number of the main set, Dean and Britta's gorgeous duet on Serge Gainsbourg's
"Bonnie & Clyde". They returned for a two-song encore, and even asked the audience for requests.
They didn't do the first song requested ("Ride Into The Sun", because apparently they couldn't
remember it), but they did the always welcome "California" instead, before finishing off the
night with a rare Galaxie 500 "cover" - "Fourth Of July".
Due to the slow start, the performance didn't classify as an awesome show, but the last four
number alone made it definitely worth it. The audiences may be getting smaller, but Luna are
still getting better!
Copyright © 2002 Carsten Wohlfeld