The moon was full, the clouds parted and the earliest hint of autumn was in the air, so this was the perfect time for Espers to emerge once again.
For fans like myself that could never catch the band live during their heyday, it started to really feel like that was truly how it was always going to be. So it was not only a total blessing to find that they were reuniting as a complete group for a couple of gigs, but that they are doing so on the same bill as one of their mightiest peers, Vetiver. Meg Baird and co. played with the energy and freshness of a group half their age, breathing new life into tracks from every one of their classic albums (even a Weed Tree EP cut!). Hypnotic, foreboding and hauntingly beautiful from the moment that they walked onto the stage to the final spectral note that reverberated throughout the small Jersey City club, Espers was everything that this long time fan had hoped for and more.
Vetiver mellowed White Eagle Hall way out last night with their laidback rootsy vibes. They performed the entirety of their classic Thing of The Past covers album, which just turned 10 years old. The spirited and relaxed interpretations of gorgeous tracks by the likes of Garland Jefferys, Michael Hurley, Iain Matthews, etc was the perfect way to send the intimate Sunday night crowd coasting into the twilight of their fading weekend.
I have seen the band perform twice before, (the first being shortly after TOTP was originally released) and they’ve always been top notch performers, but it was absolutely excellent to finally experience them performing some of these covers in person for the first time (it was a total dream come true to see them jam out extensively on Hawkwind’s “Hurry on Sundown” and to experience Meg Baird filling in for Vashti Bunyan on “Sleep a Million Years.”) If you get a chance to see these guys soon, you would not regret buying the ticket.