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Mercury Rev- a setlist

Red Box, Dublin, Jan 9, 1999

mercury.gif (39890 bytes)Last year, Mercury Rev's Deserter's Songs was, rightly, regarded by many as album of the year - the one-time noise-pop band infused its fourth album with a more cohesive, lush, almost cinematic feel. Neil Young playing Pet Sounds might approximate the result. Grandiose music, epic in conception and execution, without being pompous, faux-mystical or bloated by clich?. Like the album, the band opened this gig (their second in Dublin within 3 months) with "Holes" (despite what the setlist says), before diving into the highlight of the album, "The Funny Bird". The euphoria on Jonathan Donahue's face reflected the state of the music. His thin, almost weedy, voice adding to the intimacy of the music and the venue. The gig concluded with a momentous 10 minute cover of "Cortez The Killer", cementing the link between the band from the Catskills and the man from Canada... "Bands/Those funny little plans/That never work quite right", sighs Jonathan Donahue at the end of 'Holes' - I think most in attendance  in the Red Box that night would disagree. Catch them again in the Olympia on the 29th and 30th of April.

Stephen Mcnulty

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