Thurston Moore’s “record release” show at Music Hall of Williamsburg started off with a folky band from Brooklyn called I Feel Tractor. A trio that switched between various instruments – acoustic guitar, ukulele, conga drum, melodica, and a saw thrown in for good measure. Sounds cool enough, but unfortunately I felt that it was sleepy and uninspiring. Next up was a poet named Eileen Myles. Initially, this sounded less promising to me because spoken word is so hit or miss, but it turned out to be much more interesting. I admire anyone who has the courage to stand up in front of an audience and read. I enjoyed her poetry and I’m pretty sure everyone else did as well since the venue became totally silent as soon as she started.
Thurston and his band (full with harp & violin!) walked on stage with a blue glowing backstage light following them out. No matter how many times I see Thurston Moore, whether it’s with Sonic Youth or one of his many side projects or solo endeavors, he manages to completely captivate everyone around him. He has a grand presence, and not just because he’s ridiculously tall. Engaging an audience seems to be effortless for him and more often than not, it’s very subtle. He generally rips through his songs with a fiery passion and energy, but with his last two solo efforts, he’s been favoring a more mellow vibe. Beautiful acoustic songs with whispery vocals suit him just as well as the intricate noise we’re used to hearing. To me, Demolished Thoughts is a romantic album filled with longing. It reminds me of days filled with quiet reflection and daydreams about future possibilities. The set was almost entirely Demolished Thoughts with a couple Trees Outside the Academy tracks and an encore of “Psychic Hearts.” A perfect ending to an already perfect evening.