Show Review: Luna Plays Bewitched @ 3ten

It’s been at least a year since I’ve caught a touring act take the stage, so I was really excited to head over to 3ten ACL to hear Luna play the entirety of 1994’s Bewitched, with a couple of extra tracks tagged on to the end of the set. Plus, what better way to start dipping my toes into the pond then by seeing old friends Caroline Says take the stage to open!

Caroline Says hasn’t played in some time, but it doesn’t seem like the band, or Caroline herself, has really missed a beat. They sank right into their set, offering up the business side of indie rock by just playing the hits and being grateful to be on stage. Hoping that getting back on the stage will also lead to more new material from the band, but always good to seem them play the hits.

When Luna took to the stage, there wasn’t much of a speech or anything to really lead into the set; they did what they do best, just getting right into the album. But, by “Tiger Lilly” you could hear the muted singalong among the crowd, everyone careful not to overstep their neighbors (well, except for that one group, but there’s always that ONE group, right?).

But, by the time they hit “Bewitched,” Sean and Dean seemed willing to offer up a little banter, if anything to pass some time between tunings. “This Time Around,” of course, was a personal favorite, and its one of those timeless songs I’ve adored for years, and as soon as it comes on, I’m transported back to my dorm room where I first listened to the record in private.

Throughout the set, I had this weird feeling like I was watching some sort of Lou Reed kindred spirit, despite Dean being born in New Zealand. He just evokes this sense of reserved cool, though perhaps even a tad more bookish. But, while I kept thinking that, I couldn’t help but marvel at how important Sean Eden is to the band. Sure, it’s clear in the recording, but seeing him live really allowed us to see how he could manipulate the band’s sound in his own right. His guitar playing helped break some of the space, and his noodling sounded so sharp that it seemed to rise out into the early Autumn air out the back of the venue.

They closed the evening with five bonus tracks (BGray has a photo of the set list below!), then returned for their version of Beat Happening’s “Indian Summer.” It was a great way to ease back into live music, and we’re very grateful we were able to hear the LP from start to finish.

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