The Dream Syndicate's current world tour to promote the band's first new album since the band's 80's heyday called How Did I Find Myself Here and the tour has finally arrived in London for two sold out shows at The Lexington. I thought I had tickets for the second show on Halloween but having checked on the day of the first gig realized in time that I was going to the first night.
They didn't have a support band and the current line up opened the show with Jason Victor brewing up a storm of feedback and noise from his guitar before Dennis Duck, Mark Walton and Steve Wynn joined him and they went into a great version of When You Smile that had great sound and also had everyone around me singing along to it.
Then the PBR Kid sorry Chris Cacavas strolled on to join them on Keyboards as they went into the first of the new songs The Circle that had the first extended solos of the night and thankfully sounds like classic Dream Syndicate. 80 West kept the pace up and is a good road song about Drunk driving after something bad has happened.
As soon as the intro to Armed With An Empty Gun began a cheer went up and lots of smiles broke out as it sounded just about perfect and the staccato almost machine gun parts worked brilliantly well. They then went back to the new album for Like Mary a typically hard boiled song about despair that had some great guitar work and those pounding drums helping to emphasise the lyrical content.
I think this was when Steve made his first real introductions and chat for the evening before they got us all properly Out Of My Head a properly frazzled Psych freak out. Filter Me Through You had some pretty magical interaction between Jason's guitar and Chris' keyboard parts to make sure it sounded just as good as the band's classic songs.
Burn sounded great especially in a week when I knew I'd be setting fire to a field again on the Saturday night just to feel it and watch it burn. I think everyone around me was singing along at the point and that continues on Whatever You Please.
That moment when they promise to take us down to the Medicine show was always a highlight and this time was no exception it sounded great nice and long with some juicy guitar work from both Jason and Steve and Mark's bass rumbling nicely as they got to the breakdown in the middle before it all built back up again.
They then did a good long version of the new album's title track How Did I Find Myself Here that made it clear that it will be a live classic for as long as they are playing live again.
Chris then wandered off to try to drink all the PBR behind the bar while the rest of the band made sure they were Definitely Clean that sounded as angry and frantic as it needs to be. By now they were really firing on all cylinders and That's What You Always Say took it up a notch when Steve borrowed someone's beer to use as a slide on his solo with the Bottle having an foaming orgasm all over his guitar it sounded and looked incredible even if he had to change guitars afterwards as his trusty fender needed some drying off.
Having told us he'd almost never used the spare guitar live before Steve had managed to break a string on it before the intro to Days Of Wine And Roses was done but it didn't change how great it sounded and they really went for it bringing the set to a great close.
Of course the place went mental for an encore and they came back as a 5 piece and opened it with a great long version of new song Glide with Steve back on his now cleaned and dried Fender. Tell Me When It's Over was another big sing along and sounded just about perfect to me.
Steve then dedicated Boston to his old manager Barry Everitt and to all the other friends we have lost along the way and about halfway through the first instrumental break they went into a good part of Tom Petty's Living Like A Refugee and then well back to Boston for a real climax to end the encore with.
Yes of course they got a second encore and it was the inevitable version of Halloween to make sure we could all end the evening singing one of the band's best known songs and marvelling at just how great they all sounded throughout this near as dammit perfect show. They left us promising to return next year with another album I can't wait.