On April 13, exactly 3,696 days after their last show at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City, Luna reunited for a show at The Echo in Los Angeles. A lot has changed in the last decade, not the least of which is the fact that three-quarters of what was once a quintessentially New York band now resides in Los Angeles. So ten years after their last show on a snowy February evening in New York, Luna’s first and sole American date (as of now) found Dean Wareham, Britta Phillips, Sean Eden, and Lee Wall warming it up on a balmy spring evening at the Echo in LA before heading off for two weeks in Spain (the original impetus for the reunion).
After an appropriately dream-pop set by openers Winter–who are playing a month-long residency at the Echo–the four most recent members of Luna took the stage together for the first time since February 28th, 2005. They opened with one of the first Luna songs, “Slide,” and the setlist was pretty much a greatest-hits collection of 17 crowd-pleasing Luna tunes (plus their standard Beat Happening cover, “Indian Summer.”)
Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips have played a number of Luna songs live in the 10 years in between Luna gigs, and while some Luna is better than no Luna, there’s still nothing like the genuine article. While I’ve enjoyed songs like “Indian Summer” and “Tiger Lily” performed by Dean& Britta, it’s amazing what a difference having the other half of Luna makes. Musically, maybe there’s not that much difference, but there’s something about seeing Wareham and Phillips next to and Eden and Wall, on stage together, that just seems right. And pre-encore closer “23 Minutes in Brussels,” with its duel-guitar attack, alternating solos of Eden and Wareham, and spacey rock atmosphere, is basically Luna summed up in 7 minutes. It was a fitting song to close out their final show 10 years ago, and it was the moment during their return that the truly seemed to be back.
There’s definitely some rust to be polished out, but let the Spaniards worry about that. After the Spain shows, Luna play Portugal (looking forward to the “LUNA: IBERIA 2015” t-shirts!), and the UK at the end of July. Wareham confirmed more US dates to come after that, telling the crowd to “tell your less fortunate friends” that Luna will be back in LA (and probably other US cities) in October. Probably.
Check out photos and setlist below…
Luna @ The Echo, Los Angeles, CA, April 13th, 2015
Sideshow by the Seashore
Malibu Love Nest
Weird & Woozy
California (All the Way)
Lost in Space
Tracy I Love You
Slash Your Tires
23 Minutes in Brussels