Luna seems to appear a bit glazed at their Friday night shows as of late, although this past Friday's show at Southpaw in Brooklyn did feature a multitude of technical issues, complete with a slight buzz, besides the one from the crowd. Perhaps it's also the proximity to home when they gig in New York that provides an element of familiarity and a slow start? Once they do get going, Luna delivers their own brand of quirk and groove to the delight of everyone in attendance.
The opening band, Elk City, played a string of psychedelic-induced pop songs, a sort of rainbow Jell-O shot with a big kick. The band even covers the Galaxie 500 track, Strange, although I don't think they actually did the song but I can't be sure because much of the time I couldn't hear over the yammering of those around me. I particularly enjoyed watching Elk City member, Renez LoBue, play the rhodes piano bass, sing backup, and dance kind of like Fred Schneider on acid.
When Luna opened with IHOP, I imagined a night of epic guitar solos and pounding percussion, however, since the band was plagued with technical issues from the starting line that did not occur. Following IHOP was a string of Romantica tracks, but included, Malibu Lovenest, a song that I continue to enjoy more every time they play it. Rhythm King was a surprise, a sort of refreshment from the usual setlist. At one point someone in the crowd yelled out for Bonnie and Clyde, and of course the guy that I see at every New York gig that stands front row, center stage requested Fuzzy Wuzzy, a great song but a very anticlimactic finale. However, it was a low brow, low key night which hit the spot as did the fabulous white pizza from PizzaTown just a couple of blocks west on 5th Avenue. This was my second visit to Southpaw dating back to their first gig there on the same weekend last Summer, and both times I've enjoyed the experience, minus the issues with the front door v. stage v. crowd bottleneck that Max Lang mentioned to Galaxie 500 listers.
A couple of other worthy highlights from the evening to mention were being approached by a crackhead for money, and watching some lanky man try on women's clothing on the #2 train on our way back to Manhattan sometime after 3 a.m. The bartenders at the Southpaw are extremely accommodating, at least if you stay much later following the show, and if you're a smoker, you may even be allowed to smoke inside the club, depending upon how the staff feel that night. For the most part, for both righties and lefties, the Southpaw provides a comfortable place to see a show, especially when it's Luna.