Brian Jonestown Massace @ The Fox Theater, 5/8/14 - Photo by Gary Magill

The Brian Jonestown Massacre opened last night’s show with “Whoever You Are,” from 1997’s Give It Back, and gifted us “Jennifer” from 1998’s equally masterful Strung Out in Heaven. We love you Anton. Always. “Wisdom,” from ’95’s Methodrone – the second studio album – featured six guitars playing simultaneously, drums and the killer tambourine of Joel Gion. It managed to sound better than just about anything can sound at the Fox, where sound often blows despite a zillion dollars in gear.  There was a brief sound mishap with a too-long low rumbling, but even Anton seemed to forgive them.

“The Devil May Care (Mom and Dad Don’t)” – also from Give It Back — brought the sloooow, trippy goodness that must have had them drooling at last week’s Austin Psych Fest. Anton did seem a little miffed about “Servo” – yes, also from give it back! – but I’m not sure why. It sounded damn good. The show ended with “Oh Lord” from 1996’s Take It From the Man!; founding BJM member Matt Hollywood (’93-99), who has been back in the band for a nice while now, sang this and many others from his early days. No strobe lights. No encores. The Brian Jonestown Massacre is off to Europe from 5/20-7/12.

Joel opened the show with his latest project, Joel Gion & The Primary Colours, formed in 2013 and already playing the Fox. Very auspicious! Despite similar instrumentation, the sound was more Fox-y, just not quite right. It was still a serious treat to see Joel up there with the best chops (sideburns) in the industry.

Already established as the greatest tambourine/maraca player from his long tenure with the Brian Jonestown (since ’96 at least), not to mention his 101 Tambourines days with The Dilettantes. He played what was described as “a song for my love….of being incredibly lazy.” He also turned over most of the tambourine duties to focus on singing.

There were a few aggressive maraca moves. His set ended with VU’s “Foggy Notion” and a super nice version at that. Lou was smiling down, that is, if he isn’t still hitting heaven’s speedballs over Macaulay Culkin’s horrific Pizza Underground.