Brian Jonestown Massacre – Terminal 5 – April 1, 2009

April 2nd, 2009


Before a crowd of hard-dancing acolytes, head-nodding onlookers and friends of Eddie Bruiser’s, psychedelic-rockers the Brian Jonestown Massacre brought their full sound—four guitars, bass, tambourine, drums and keys—to Terminal 5 on a rainy April Fools’ night. While the roster has changed quite a bit since the band formed in San Francisco, back in 1990, Anton Newcombe clearly remains the leader.

Everything about BJM seems interesting, from song titles like “Bring Me the Head of Paul McCartney on Heather Mills’s Wooden Peg (Dropping Bombs on the White House)” and “Just Like Kicking Jesus,” to onstage fights (captured in the documentary Dig!), and even the band’s name, which is a portmanteau of original Rolling Stones lead guitarist Brian Jones, who died at 27 in 1969, and the 1978 Jonestown massacre in Guyana. Whether the band was jamming together, with their dark, swirling sound filling the room, or passing around a bottle of Maker’s Mark between tunes or even restarting a song, they were certainly hard to resist.

Tambourine player Joel Gion—who, at least from afar, resembles the love child of Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and a member of the Village People—took the blame for the song do over, saying, “Sorry, the fuck up was my fault. I thought I had time to run to the bar.” But nobody seemed to mind. Even as the band left the stage and the lights came on, BJM fans continued to shake it to the PA music and a girl with sunglasses on twirled happily around the room. —R. Zizmor