Midway through the North American leg of their reunion tour, Stereolab played two nights at Brooklyn Steel which were their first NYC shows in almost exactly 11 years. It didn't really feel like any time had passed: Tim Gane was stage right, lost in the strum of his guitar, head swaying back and forth like a bobblehead; Laetitia Sadier stage left, the epitome of French cool; drummer Andy Ramsay and keyboardist Joe Watson (and new member Xavier Muñoz Guimera) filling out the sound in between; and Stereolab laundry bags were at the merch table.

With no new record to support, the groop played a nice selection of cuts pulled from throughout their extensive catalogue. Both nights of Brooklyn Steel featured the same "hits" -- including "Metronomic Underground" and "Percolator" from Emperor Tomato Ketchup, "Brakhage," "Miss Modular" and "Rainbo Conversation" from Dots & Loops, "Ping Pong," "Anamorphose" and "Lo Boob Oscillator" and more -- but the rest of the sets were noticeably different both nights, with a nice selection of deep cuts and finishing with 15-minute epics: Friday night got "Jenny Ondioline" and Saturday got "Blue Milk."

I had friends who thought Stereolab seemed bored, but I've never found them to be an "exciting" band per se; they're more the type where you let the sound wash over you, close your eyes and sway your head like Gane. I thought they sounded fantastic on Saturday night, especially "Metronomic Underground," "Percolator" and "Need To Be" (I'd forgotten how good Margerine Eclipse is). They played for an hour and 45 minutes and I could've used another half hour. Hopefully this tour will not be the last chance to see them.

With "Jenny Ondioline" and Margerine Eclipse's "Vonal Declosion," on the setlist, I wish I had seen Friday, but I do not regret seeing Massive Attack that night in any way. Check out pictures from Friday's Stereolab show (including openers Bitchin Bajas) in the gallery above and check out setlists and videos from both nights below.

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SETLIST: Stereolab @ Brooklyn Steel 9/27/2019
Brakhage
French Disko
Baby Lulu
Miss Modular
Vonal Declosion
Metronomic Underground
Need to Be
Anamorphose
Ping Pong
Percolator
Crest
Lo Boob Oscillator

Encore:
Brigitte
Rainbo Conversation
Jenny Ondioline

SETLIST: Stereolab @ Brooklyn Steel 9/28/2019
Brakhage
French Disko
Fluorescences
Miss Modular
Double Rocker
Infinity Girl
Metronomic Underground
Need to Be
Anamorphose
Ping Pong
Percolator
John Cage Bubblegum
Lo Boob Oscillator

Encore:
The Stars Our Destination
Rainbo Conversation
Blue Milk

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photos by P Squared