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Medicine played their first NYC show in ages at Music Hall of Williamsburg w/ Weekend and Leverage Models (pics, setlist)

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

Weekend

Medicine

SETLIST: Medicine @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, 8/16/2013
The Pink
Something Goes Wrong
Miss Drugstore
5ive
Long as the Sun
It’s Not Enough
Live It Down
Time Baby II
Never Click
Butterfly’s Out Tonight
A Short Happy Life
Aruca

Encore:
One More

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