Slowdive @ Webster Hall, NYC, September 27, 2023 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Slowdive

Slowdive @ Webster Hall, NYC, September 27, 2023,

Oct 03, 2023 Photography by Matthew Berlyant Web Exclusive
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Slowdive are a unique band. First off, since reuniting in 2014, they have maintained the same lineup as they had for the majority of the nineties, consisting of singer/guitarist Neil Halstead and the incomparable Rachel Goswell, clad on this evening in a black cape while sharing harmony vocals with Halstead on a majority of the songs, alongside guitarist Christian Savill, bassist Nick Chaplin, and drummer Simon Scott. For their very first NYC show since 2018, Slowdive played a stunning, career-spanning set, mesmerizing the sold-out crowd for an hour and a half. While Halstead writes all of their original material, this is truly a case where the sum is greater than its parts, each member not only holding their own but working seamlessly with one another as part of a team to create the most transcendent experience possible, as if they’re a shoegaze/dream-pop version of the ‘96 Bulls or another similar all-time great quintet of your choosing.

The evening’s fifteen-songs set concentrated heavily on their brand new and wonderful album Everything is Alive, their also wonderful self-titled comeback album from 2017, and interestingly, 1993’s Souvlaki, considered by many fans to be their best work, with twelve of the evening’s fifteen songs coming from these three releases.

There were other surprises in order, though, as we also got their cover of Syd Barrett’s “Golden Hair” (from the 1991 EP Holding Our Breath) and even a tune from 1995’s Pygmalion (“Crazy for You”). “Catch the Breeze,” released on both the aforementioned Holding Our Breath EP and on their debut album Just for a Day, was perhaps the highlight of the entire set, an absolutely transcendent and radiant version setting the stage for the psychedelic highlights of the rest of the main set.

All in all, while not quite as “heavy” of a set as the previous time I saw them in 2014 at Union Transfer in Philadelphia, in which (to my great delight) they sounded more like a heavy stoner rock band than a dream pop band, it was still fantastic, as the band seamlessly translated the complex compositions of their recorded work on the stage. I don’t think I’ve seen a better set of music this year.




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