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Miracle of 86 Take a Trip Back

June 17th, 2013

Miracle of 86 – Mercury Lounge – June 15, 2013


As reunion shows have become ubiquitous, the special sheen associated with them has begun to wear thin with so many bands getting back together, often for what feels like hollow reasons. But for every former radio-rock group that does it there’s a small band like Miracle of 86 that might never have had the chance, or maybe just needed the social momentum, to come back together and give their fans a chance to see them perform a few more times. After what seemed like a one-off show this past winter to raise money for victims of Hurricane Sandy, in the band’s original stomping ground of Staten Island, singer Kevin Devine and his bandmates decided to play a few more, appearing at Maxwell’s on Friday and then Mercury Lounge on Saturday night.

Looking back, what’s especially remarkable about that first run of Miracle of 86 shows is that they occurred in the now prominent shadow of Devine’s current success (both with his solo acoustic shows and his full-band affairs), and yet while some fans went to experience Miracle of 86 for the first time this past weekend, trusting in his name alone, that wasn’t true for most in the crowd. On Saturday night, the room on Houston Street where Miracle of 86 played their first New York City show 15-and-a-half years ago was primarily filled with people you’d hope would be there—old friends and fans. Which is why the energetic show didn’t seem contrived, instead it felt like a bizarre time-travel window into what could have been. In fact, when Devine asked if anyone had been to both shows, someone shouted, “I wish!” from the back. “Too bad we can’t go back in time,” replied Devine, cutting himself off as he looked around the stage at his old band. “Although, I guess we can.” —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com