It’s weird to go to a show after you’ve written a fairly negative story about the headliner. I went to see Mercury Rev at the Showbox after sullying their good name in this week’s paper , and the turnout was very weak—maybe 200 people (probably more because Doves dropped off the bill than from my disparaging words).
The Rev’s performance was spirited despite the sparse crowd, but they only played material from 1998’s Deserter’s Songs onward, seemingly to spite old fans like me. The cover of Dylan’s “You Gotta Serve Somebody” didn’t compensate for the lack of those amazing early Rev songs. Best part of the gig were the visuals, which were way more psychedelic and compelling than the music they were supporting, and contained pithy quotes from smart folks from many eras—a trend I hope spreads.