July 1, 2018

Slowdive played House of Vans

Slowdive came to Brooklyn's House of Vans as part of the venue's free summer series and the band's first east coast visit of 2018.

It was a sweltering Saturday evening as the shoegaze legends hit up the rather intimate skate park along Greenpoint's western coast and the band were in fine form as they played to a packed, sweaty crowd. Playing for just about an hour, this wasn't the ideal show for first timers as the band didn't really get to sink their teeth into their rather short set, but they did manage to play hits from across their career. At just ten songs, the night felt over a bit too early, but the band did their best to really blow away the audience and no one should've left feeling any sorts of disappointment. From the opening of "Slomo," the band took their standard dream-like approach and morphed it into a true psychedelic experience. Despite what felt like more of a festival set than a true headlining performance, the band still packed a serious punch, played a plethora of hits and unleashed a magic like only they can produce. "Catch the Breeze" and "Souvlaki Space Station" still feel like totally triumphant moments for the band and their interstellar backdrops of laser spirals and glowing embers give the songs a whole new depth and feel just as cosmic and enlightening now as they did exploding out of my speakers so many years ago. New tracks "Star Roving" and "Sugar for the Pill" fit to the same groove as the older numbers and are welcome additions to the group's set lists. Even after seeing the reunion tours roll through on more than one occasion at this point, there is still a heightened sense of excitement that comes with a Slowdive show and that makes every performance as special as the one prior. While "Alison" remains their supreme statement, not only in elegance, but also in true divine guitar wizardry, witnessing "When the Sun Hits" come to life is nothing short of brilliant. Echoing guitar strums formed waves of sound that rippled across the warehouse, wrapping fans in a cocoon of luscious melody. The swells of reverb crashed into a whirl of blissed-out euphoria, elevating the moment to a place beyond compare. It's a moment that I had anticipated earlier in the day and one the still surpassed expectations. On what felt like the hottest day of the year, Slowdive briefly suspended all sense of exhaustion and, just for a moment, lifted spirits towards the heaven and provided the comfort that of escape everyone so drastically desired.

Set list:

01 "Slomo"
02 "Catch the Breeze"
03 "Crazy for You"
04 "Star Roving"
05 "Souvlaki Space Station"
06 "No Longer Making Time"
07 "Alison"
08 "When the Sun Hits"
09 "Sugar for the Pill"
10 "Golden Hair" [Syd Barrett cover]

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