Mercury Rev

This was one of the proverbial “ten best” concerts in one’s life. As someone who used to spend some two hundred nights a year for several years attending concerts and writing about them in newspapers, I was happy enough to have at least a couple of dozens of “ten best” concerts in my life. However, after rock and roll fizzeled out and I grew senior I did not expect to have much of those still waiting for me. Especially as I did not like Deserter’s Song too much, the only album from Mercury Rev which I was convinced to buy after it has been singled as one of the best recordings in one of the years of the begining of 2000 decade (was it 2001?). I did not expect such a blast at all. And what a blast it was! A powerful, full blooded rock sound of the band was really much better then the orchestral, symphonical sound which Dave Friedman produced for the album. The concert started awesome and it grew better and more powerfull without ever becoming pompous or heavy, in spite of the immense power the band kept delivering song after song. These guys played as only some of the greatest bands on the planet can, and I have seen some of those held in such esteeem over last thirty years and a very few of their concerts were close to what MR delivered that night in Aquarius.

One of the things that make morale of this extraordinary night is that one should never, ever, follow its own tastes and conclusions in choosing how to spend their time and whom to go to see. I would have easily eliminated this concert if I was not trusting other people’s opinions and experiences, and they did get the value of Mercury Rev before I did. Ultimately, it was one of mine “ten best” concerts in spite of what I thought of the band before I drove into the rainy evening to see them playing in Aquarius. The moment when the song which has the word “FLY” in the refrain started rolling and thundering from the stage and when the refrain kicked in with Jonathan Donahue restraining his voice and gently waiving his wings while soaring higher and higher is something probably of the magnitude late Jim Morrison of the Doors on the good night might have delivered. One of the greatest moments in the history of rock and roll it was, no doubt. A monument! What a privilege to have been there that night.

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