THE SOFT MOON at Glasslands, Brooklyn.
San Francisco-based Luis Vasquez’s solo project, The Soft Moon, debuted in 2010 with an eponymous record that quickly became everyone’s favorite neo-dark album. The Soft Moon hasn’t played in New York City since the release of their Total Decay EP (a semi-instrumental exercise in calibrating analog synths) and tonight it’s an unusual pre-record show at the (rammed, packed) Glasslands.
If you haven’t seen the band live, Vasquez doesn’t play up to the “cold wave” stereotype; he couldn’t be further from the “earnest cheek-sucking young things who dream of being Belgians with a ready access to cheap speed“. There’s an evident acknowledgement of the past here (he’s one of the guests on the new John Foxx album) but also a commitment to push things forward, and the sheer intensity of Vasquez’ live performance – no mannerisms - makes it worth seeing a band that otherwise would be a better fit for headphones.
It all starts with the heavy bass/motorik of “We are We” and “Circles” heading to the narcotic despair of “Dead Love’ and “Breath the Fire.” This is followed by some static, strobe lights, and a couple of tracks from “Total Decay”. Two new songs: “Die Life” (halfway between Jesus & Mary Chain circa “Automatic” and Ministry”) and “Insides” (martial keyboards emulating Poésie Noire, violently distorted vocals). It all ends with endless reverberation, and Vasquez singing clearly “When It’s Over” come hither. “Tiny Spiders” comes in the very end, but it barely matters then – everyone is waiting for “zeros“.
ps. the always reliable nyctaper has the whole concert streaming.
Photographs by Adam Jones.