Posted in music | pictures on August 19, 2013

photos by Greg Cristman; words by Bill Pearis

Medicine @ MHOW, 8/16/2013

After an 18-year absence, LA ethereal noisemakers Medicine returned with To the Happy Few, which surprisingly picked right up where they left off, as weird and beautiful and dissonant as ever. The record is very much a studio creation, at least to my ears, and I wasn't sure what Medicine would do about translating it to a live setting on Friday (8/16) at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Much like the album, the show was an extremely happy surprise: Medicine were genuinely terrific. Playing as a four-piece, this was Medicine the rock band and the new songs slid into that mode no problem, with not much reliance on backing tracks that I could tell. Singer Beth Thompson still sounded angelic, and bandleader Brad Laner unleashed a squall from his guitar. Mid-set we got the one-two punch of their two best-known '90s songs, "Time Baby" and "Never Click," which sounded great as ever. Full setlist and pictures from the show are in this post. Here's hoping we don't have to wait as long for them to play here again.

This was a good show all-around, with a lot of people there to see Weekend as well. The band, who played basically in the dark, kept things tight, with songs flowing into each other and not much in the way of stage banter. Their set here was also less reliant on new album Jinx, with more cuts from Sports and Red than they've included at other shows this summer. Weekend will be on tour with Disappears this fall and have just announced their NYC date: October 22 at Glasslands. Tickets are on sale now.

Openers Leverage Models were odd men out on the bill, sonically at least, with three percussionists (including a guy on syn-toms), a saxophonist and a very energetic lead singer (Shannon Fields of Stars Like Fleas). The band clearly draws from mid-'80s "new pop" groups like The Associates and early Spandau Ballet and, as someone who likes that stuff, I thought it worked pretty well. Leverage Models will play a release party for their debut album at Glasslands on October 3 with Maria Minerva and Butterclock and those tickets are on sale now.

More pictures from MHOW, below...


Leverage Models



SETLIST: Medicine @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, 8/16/2013
The Pink
Something Goes Wrong
Miss Drugstore
Long as the Sun
It's Not Enough
Live It Down
Time Baby II
Never Click
Butterfly's Out Tonight
A Short Happy Life

One More



Comments (29)

it was amazing to see all the kids who claim to have good taste there just for Weekend......the room was only 1/2 full for Medicine, who were fucking killer.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 12:05 PM

"bandleader Mark Laner"

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 12:09 PM

I had serious doubts about this, as I do with most reunion shows, but Medicine were truly at the top of their game. I've seen them at least twice in their 90s heyday and Friday night blew those shows away, at least partly due I'm sure to the sobriety and focus of Beth herself.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 12:13 PM

@12:09... whoops, Brad! (fixed)

Posted by bill p | August 19, 2013 12:15 PM

Now on bass for Medicine, a taller Peter Dinklage!

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 12:25 PM

Morphine > Medicine

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 12:55 PM

Yes, I liked the bass player of Medicine better when he was in Game of Thrones.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 12:56 PM

There's a fine line between clever and stupid.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 12:57 PM

Morphine is nowhere near as good as Medicine and they are two completely difference genres.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 1:07 PM

both bands are great, but what a dumb comparison?

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 1:24 PM


Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 1:42 PM

didnt they have a song on the crow soundtrack?

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 1:49 PM

They did indeed

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 1:53 PM


Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 2:52 PM

Fun show. Wish they played something from Her Highness and not playing an encore was lame, but it was great to see Brad play.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 4:17 PM

setlist here says there was an encore

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 5:11 PM

Nope. They finished up, left, and the crowd made some noise. After a couple minutes, a roadie came out and made the cut throat sign. Then everyone quietly filed out like a buncha fuckin sheep. Pathetic.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 9:46 PM

I'm sorry for your profound loss.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 9:56 PM

I think they only had one hour to play...there was an Encore, Brad Laner even said that technically that was their encore..

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2013 10:44 PM

The set was at least 70 minutes long.

Posted by Anonymous | August 20, 2013 12:10 AM

Medicine was amazing. I saw them a bunch of times way back when. They sounded better than ever at this show. New bassist was great, grooved with Jim really well. Brad was incredible. God, I love this band. Still.

Posted by Anonymous | August 24, 2013 9:43 PM

Ever wonder what kind of picture you could get out of the sensor in your iPhone, if only you had proper glass feeding it an image? Check out this vid. They used the EnCinema SLR Lens Adapter.

Posted by Carson | January 30, 2014 12:34 PM

Yehhhh...Medicine is back!!!! Finally, some real music...

Posted by JOHNSON | February 17, 2014 1:55 PM

I saw Medicine open up for Curve at the old I-beam on Haight Street in San Francisco. Unbelievable show. I was deaf at the end.

Posted by Elliott | May 12, 2014 3:34 AM

Wow, easily an instant favorite!!!

Posted by Rebekah | May 28, 2014 12:41 PM

believe it or not... the lead singer is from the eighties band called the bangles. walk like an egyptian lol. its true,FACT. thank god she made good. disbelieve? look it up

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