Saturday, 21 November 2015

Mercury Rev at Glasgow School of Art

Holes, dug by little moles, 
Angry jealous spies, got telescopes for eyes
Come to you as friends, 
All those endless ends,
That can't be tied

Mercury Rev came to town last night and led a sold out Art School audience on a glorious, magical, mystery trip through their back catalogue. It was a mesmerising performance, the ninety minute set flew by as everyone was captivated by Joanathan Donahue and his exceptional band.

So yeah, that was the setlist. Some bands take a few songs to get into their stride, to warm up, to find their groove - not Mercury Rev!

Donahue conducted his band, vibing off the soaring riffs and beats, pretending to fly at times and probably believing he could and he was.

Carwash Hair was funny, uplifting and life affirming. Frittering was psychedelic bliss, Tonite It Shows was delivered with tender care, a beautiful lysergic lullaby.

Mercury Rev were on fire. Donahue was up on the drum riser, lifting one of the lights off the stage to use as a spotlight to shine on the band, on him, on the audience, grabbing his guitar and joining in some of the glorious psychedelic jams that ended some of the songs, delivering an exceptional front man performance. The gleam in his eyes, the smile and his genuine heartfelt thanks were great to see and hear, this was a guy singing from the bottom of his heart. His band were sensational, Grasshopper shredded his guitar at times and delivered tender riffs at others.

Holes caused a few guys in their 50's beside me to grab each other and sing with gusto. The rest of the crowd felt the same way. A beautiful Tides led into the life affirming Opus 40 - but this whole experience was life affirming. The whole set made me think that every band in the universe should try LSD at some point!

The band went off for literally 30-seconds before coming back on and playing Goddess On The Highway. Arms were raised, the air was being punched and everyone sang along, especially on the melancholic yet soaring refrain.

And I know, it ain't gonnna last 
And I know, it ain't gonna last

Dark Is Rising finished the set as a young couple embraced in front of me, lost in the music and each other and Donahue thanked the audience; 'thank you from the bottom of our hearts Glasgow, it's been too long'.

Hope they come back soon.

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