Brian Jonestown Massacre
Sydney, Metro Theatre
June 9, 2018
With seventeen albums under their belt, the collective known as the Brian Jonestown Massacre has been going since 1990.
Early on they firmly established themselves on the firmament of both the pantheon of psychedelic rock as well as the forefront of artists who never compromised their art for the sake of commercial success, including all the controversy, inner- and outer band strife that comes with the territory.
At the helm of the operation is the always prolific Anton Newcombe, the maestro and visionary behind tonight’s seven-headed incarnation – an invested, consumed mercurial perfectionist who orchestrates and is immersed in every note, which despite the many line-ups I have had the pleasure of seeing BJM in, results in me yet having to witness a BJM show without him directly calling his worthy constituents out on how their performance needs to be adjusted, even if the most dedicated aficionado in the audience would be hard pressed to find any fault in their performance.
Tonight was the second sold out show as part of the Vivid Festival, with an enthusiastic audience turning a rainy Sydney night into a steamy, hot sweatbox.
The outside bar area at the Metro Theatre is usually a busy spot no matter who holds court on its main stage, however, tonight it was not frequented as everyone tried to not miss a second of the gospel of the Brain Jonestown Massacre.
Playing a fantastic, tight and nuanced set, covering nearly every facet of the band’s extensive catalogue and showing their versatility, they effortlessly navigated not only the traditional waters of Californian1960s psych-rock waters, but seamlessly dipped into pools of power pop, noisy drone laden excursions and folk with the trademark BJM DNA pervading each tune.
An evening that’s testament to Brian Jonestown Massacre’s relevance and timelessness.
Photos by T