photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

There was a time, in the years following the release of the documentary DiG!, where Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe seemed to be at war with the audience (who sometimes seemed only to be there to see the band fall apart onstage), avoiding their catchiest material in favor of long, droney druggy jams. These days, though, Newcombe (sporting some serious snow-white mutton chops) and the BJM are mostly in the crowd-pleasing business, both in song selection and delivering classically cranky banter/rants between songs. With a lineup featuring seven/eight members, including indispensable tambourine man Joel Gion, BMJ's tour stop at NYC's Webster Hall on Monday night (5/9) was a three-hour-or-so affair, full of favorites like "Servo," "Who," "Anenome," and songs from recent records like 2014's excellent Revelation. Webster Hall's big room vibe fit the band's spacey sound well. This was the best I've ever seen them.

Openers were long-running North Carolina shoegazers The Veldt who threw in a cover of House of Love's "Christine" with their own songs. The band are also playing Brooklyn's Union Pool on May 22 with Your 33 Black Angels, Steep Leans, and Earnhart. Advance tickets are not available at the moment, but they'll have tickets at the door. Pics from their set, and more of the BJM, below.

The Veldt

The Brian Jonestown Massacre