We arrived on Leonard Street quite wired for the evening to find a crowded Knitting Factory and the opening band, I Am The World Trade Center, already playing. I slipped through openings in the crowd, stutter stepping the inebriated and the small pockets of people huddling at the first floor bar. The performance room was full, but not yet packed, so we zigzagged our way to a pillar that hugs the right-hand side of the stage. The colored lights came up. Luna revolution.
Pulling the trigger on the evening, Luna opened the first show with a cover of The Fuggs' track, Kill For Peace, simply changing up the lyrics to reflect current world friction. The crowd was mellow, excluding an overly drunken man that continuously waved his arms about, disturbing everyone around him. In between fondling his girlfriend and talking unremittingly, he effectively distracted enough people to warrant an ejection. However, it just did not seem worth the aggravation of summoning a bouncer to remove the simpleton.
We grinned, grudgingly, and ignored the guy enough to enjoy a show that seemed to pick up momentum as it went on, rocketing the crowd into life with the three-song artillery of Astronaut, Sideshow By The Seashore, and Friendly Advice. Slide was a highlight as always, as was the extended jam that was hooked onto Black Postcards, though it was to be surpassed in the second show with Dean's Black Postcards shock and awe campaign. It was nice to hear Weird and Woozy as the first encore, and better when Luna tied it all up with Tugboat. I spotted scores of smiles while the band sailed through Tugboat, though a good number of individuals in the swarm didn't seem to be too familiar with their stuff for most of the show.
Space was tight for the early show, making it extremely difficult to find any space at the performance-room bar for a drink or smoke. I straddled the trashcan, with empty bottles breaking just inches away from some personal apparatus. As great as the first show was, the crowd, with people talking on cell phones and carrying on conversations, was quite ill mannered for such a marvelous musical gathering. Perhaps the first show was so close to the end of happy hour that folks simply couldn't differentiate between the pub and the club.
Following an intermission where people roamed about the three floors of the Knitting Factory where at least one other band was playing live, the audience was greeted by Sean to the late show (or late edition - I can't remember what he said). A few strums later, we were rolling along through Season of the Witch, a good indication of what kind of show was coming our way. As Luna ripped through SOTW, the crowd danced along, whooping it up for the astral guitar work. The band jumped right into California (All The Way), then candy-coated Dear Diary with Swedish Fish.
Early on, it was apparent that something about the second show was special. Dean talked about the war in Iraq and even briefly mentioned that if he had a million dollars, he'd buy himself a missile. His fret over the war was never more evident than in the prolific Black Postcards jam when Dean delivered his very own shock and awe demonstration. A resounding ovation bellowed from the Knitting Factory floor.
In honor of the recent paroling of convicted U.S. spy, Christopher Boyce (glamorized by Hollywood in the 1985 film, "The Falcon and The Snowman"), Luna treated us to a dazzling version of Moon Palace. For most of the second show, the band skipped around their set list, often times filling in with tracks that they seemed to feel were suited for the moment. At least a couple of times, Dean looked at the set list and then called an audible, hollering instructions to his comrades. The intensity of the performance was spellbinding.
The second show ended almost as the first show began, with Kill For Peace, a very appropriate song for the night's theme. Fuzzy Wuzzy shut the club down, my eardrums still vibrating as I headed north on Church Street to another bar.