We ran the gauntlet of an anti-Israeli protest to get into the Button Factory. Presumably not related to the appearance of Thurston Moore for this seated-gig. The presence of a large harp on stage suggested we were in for a mellow evening.
Support came from 2 members of Tall Firs, whose diffident, nonchalant attitude belied some glorious electric guitar interplay straight out of Thurston Moore’s songbook. Some weak vocals and a general “not-arsed” vibe rendered the set a little aimless.
Thurston Moore started with a poem before launching into Mina Loy, one of several tracks from recent album ‘Demolished Thoughts’. Moore was a towering presence, alternating between 12 string and acoustic guitar, while Samara Lubelski played some crazed violin on Queen Bee and Her Pals.
Songs like Orchard Street and In Silver Rain With A Paper Key were beautifully rendered but the experience was a comfortable one rather than a transcendent one. They finally rocked out on Psychic Hearts but failed to lift the crowd beyond chin-stroking appreciation.
Having greatly enjoyed Thurston’s previous visits to these shores, tonight’s experience felt a little like “Sonic Youth Unplugged”. At a time when the band’s future is uncertain, I hope this isn’t my abiding memory of Thurston Moore.