Mission of Burma, The Gary, Shiny Around the Edges Dan's Silverleaf Friday, September 14
Mission of Burma's1982 album, Vs., is a classic, but they've now reached a unique tipping point. Their output since 2002's reunion has surpassed that of when they were initially active in the early '80s, and the praise for each album, the latest being Unsound, has been consistent. Such a late-career renaissance is unique, especially when vitality and urgency is preserved.
In fact, their set at Dan's appeared to be a celebration of the band as a unit. This was particularly apparent when deciding what song to play for their encore, which ended up being "Academy FIght Song." A rather obvious choice considering it's one of their signature songs, but all the more interesting considering another signature song, "That's When I Reach For My Revolver," went missing, even after making appearance the night before in Houston." Drummer Peter Prescott even commented on how sad it was that a bunch of old men couldn't remember their own song titles. Don't trust anyone over 30? Screw that.
That could have worked as a slogan for the evening. Denton's excellent Shiny Around the Edges and Austin's punchy The Gary opened the show, each highlighting some aspect of Mission of Burma's sound. Shiny's dark songs were a great ice-breaker, and Mike Forbes' sax, already a known commodity, pushed that affect over the edge with his jagged trills and runs, as singer/drummer Jenny Seman pounded her floor tom.
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Perhaps the most interesting part of the evening was watching the crowd, which did trend slightly younger. While Dan's has the unfair reputation of being a country bar by some, one doesn't often see a mini-mosh pit in front of the stage, like the one that broke out during Mission of Burma's set.