It seems that most of the bands I go to see live these days are starting out and plugging a debut album while establishing a new army of fans - thanks to the ridiculously fast buzz-building that goes on on the interweb - as opposed to playing to a crowd familiar with a vast canon of work.
Sebadoh last night in Whelans though was a different kind of animal altogether.
It's strange because you are watching guys in their forties who were around and participating actively in a scene that is very dear to my teen years - grunge.
Lou Barlow in particular has seen it all, in Dinosaur Jr aswell as in Sebadoh, and it was funny to watch a band of their pedigree tune their guitars between songs (because they had no tech to do it), swapping instruments with ease (because they are around long enough to have considerable practice on everything), and having those 'just out on tour' awkward moments where applause makes them grin and they try to crack jokes and sell a few t-shirts. I never got to see Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden or alot of the bands whose songs I would probably recognise from the opening note, even if they're from albums I have not listened to in many many years. Seeing Sebadoh definitely pulled at my musical heartstrings because so many of their songs have that Black Flag early 80s punk thing, crossed with that 90s grunge minor chord guitar crunch.
Will the younger new bands have the legs of some of these acts. Will they be part of a new scene that will change music? I'm not talking about the kind of all-encompassing fame and adulation of the Rolling Stones, but the steady fanbase that will want to see them in 15 or 20 years.This is a great time for new bands and new music as we are exposed every day to SO much stuff we may not have heard of the day before. But Sebadoh reminded me of the time I was given a tape with Therapy on one side and Rage Against The Machine on the other, of copying my cousin's Nevermind CD he had gotten for free because he worked in Dolphin Discs, of hearing the Jesus Lizard and Lard, of listening to NOFX for years without knowing what they looked like because...well, there was nowhere to get a picture.
The gig itself last night was excellent. And nostalgic...if I haven't made that clear. My thanks to Sebadoh.
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