photos by P Squared

"Michael Stipe wishes he was Mark Mulcahy!" a fan exclaimed after Miracle Legion's show on Friday (7/15) at The Bell House, the cult group's first full-band NYC show in 20 years. Definitely one of the best of the many bands to form in the shadow of R.E.M., Miracle Legion never really got their due thanks to bad luck and label woes. But there was no question about the greatness of their songs, or the charisma of frontman Mark Mulcahy that shined bright even through an enormous beard. Songs like "The Backyard," "Mr. Mingo," "All for the Best," and "Closer to the Wall" all sounded fresh as they did 25 years ago. The tour was to help promote the reissue of 1996's Portrait of a Damaged Family, but lets hope they continue to play -- they've got too much spark left.

EZTV's jangle, that owes much to '80s acts like The dB's and Tommy Keene, made for a nice openers. Pictures from the whole night, including one of Miracle Legion's setlist, are in the gallery above.