Review: Hitting that unifying chord

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Twenty-five minutes between lower Manhattan and Hoboken is all of the time that passed during our trip to the Friday evening Luna show at Maxwell's. A humid evening in the city made standing on the subway platform feel something possibly like a ring of hell - parched, perspiring, and fearful I would be there for a long time. On the other side, cabs were scarce, like gas stations when you really need one, so we hiked it the 10-11 blocks to the club. It was quite miserable, but reaching the club, with its cool interior and cold beers, was redemption.
The band room was filled from the time that the opening band, Mendoza Line, came on until their last song, a Dylan cover. I moved into a better position during the change, and noticed Sean bring a Les Paul onstage but as it turned out, never touched it during the entire set. From the outset, the band seemed to be off with their timing, noticeable immediately in Teenage Lightning. Dean also seemed to have some difficulty with his pedals, spending considerable time bent over tweaking his switches, then just making it back to the mic in time for his vocal queues. Their focus improved on the next series of songs: Slide, Malibu Love Nest (a peak at the lastest Luna dish), Weird and Woozy, and Black Postcards. At points during the remainder of the set they appeared to hit that unifying chord, but sporadically at best, mixing banter with a rehearsal-fashioned effort. The stage jousting was quite entertaining with Sean doffing his trousers to win a $100 bet that was forged prior to the show, while they were at dinner.
IHOP was a big surprise. I thought that they had closed cover on it for good, tossing it into a bin with Beautiful View. Fortunately, for Pup Tent fans, they have revived the track, and it sounded great, an aural treat of sorts. It was the highlight of Friday night, for me at least, along with a preview of the new material.
Some difficulties at the Christopher Street Path Station on Saturday evening kept me from getting to Maxwell's early enough for dinner. The finicky token machine refused my attempts to feed it a few quid, then the arriving train with its crowd and blast of wind nearly swiped the dollars from my fingers. The crowd was much smaller on Saturday night, leaving room to get a clear view of the band and order drinks without moving a foot. From the onset, there was an energy present as Dean, Britta, Sean, and Lee took to the stage. They were all business, lofting into Everybody's Talkin', a move that drew cheers from the audience. What followed was a solid show of Luna favorites capping the night with the extended BP jam, Time to Quit, and 23 Minutes... It was a reversal from Friday night, pure rock n roll for the soul.
My weekend ended with the Sunday evening sunset, nipping Corona and scoffing chips and Salsa Con Queso, after L'Avventura had carried us through the New York afternoon.