Forty years ago this month, alternative rock band The Dream Syndicate recorded their debut album Days of Wine and Roses. A bold and breathtaking work that put the Dream Syndicate and Paisley Underground scene in Los Angeles, from where the band emerged in the early 1980s, on the map, Wine and Rose Days has since been critically acclaimed. Meanwhile, a number of his guitar-laden post-punk songs, such as “Tell Me When It’s Over”, “Halloween” and “That’s What You Always Say” continue to be performed at the band’s concerts to this day. day.
“This one remains very important to me,” the band’s vocalist-guitarist Steve Wynn said of Wine and Rose Days in the liner notes of the 2001 reissue of the record. “And I’m still very proud of that – something musicians can’t always say about their debut album.”
To mark the record’s landmark release, the Dream Syndicate – featuring original co-founders Wynn and drummer Dennis Duck with newest members bassist Mark Walton and lead guitarist Jason Victor – recently played Wine and Rose Days in its entirety on their recent tour, which included a stop at New York’s Bowery Ballroom on Saturday night.
Like the original record, whose post-punk sound drew on influences such as the Velvet Underground, Neil Young and Creedence Clearwater Revival, the performance was electrifying. From the opening notes of “Tell Me When It’s Over,” the band kicked into high gear with renditions of album tracks “Then She Remembers,” “When You Smile” and “Definitely Clean.”
The energetic procedural took some time out for the haunting ballad “Too Little Too Late” in which the band was joined by Baseball Project/Filthy Friends drummer Linda Pitmon on lead vocals, echoing the original version recorded by the original Dream Syndicate bassist. Kendra Smith. The interpretation of the title track of the album concluded this second half of the concert on an exuberant high.
But the show wasn’t entirely a nostalgia trip – for the first half of the evening the band performed material from their recent albums, including their excellent record Ultraviolet Battle Hymns and True Confessions, released earlier this year. Excerpts from this album such as “Where I’ll Stand” and “Damian” and “Every Time You Come Around” were complemented by tracks from the last five years, such as “How Do I Find Myself Here”, “Glide and “Put in miles.” These figures combined with Days and Rose Wines together added to a homogeneous whole.
For their encore, the band changed it up a bit by performing covers, first with Donovan’s psychedelic classic “Season of the Witch,” then followed by Eric Clapton’s “Let It Rain.”
At this point in their career, the Dream Syndicate would be considered a legacy act, but it didn’t appear that way from Saturday’s show. Although they existed on and off for 40 years, the band still had a vibrant, vital sound: Wynn’s dark, charismatic vocals and stabbing guitar riffs; the solid rhythm section of Duck and Walton; and Victor’s jagged guitar drowned in atmospheric, glorious feedback. There was no sign that they were living off past glories, but instead they continued to challenge and bring something new with each subsequent album and performance.
Still here now
Put a few miles on
where i will stand
out of my head
Every time you come
try to overcome
How did I end up here
Wine and Rose Days:
Tell me when it’s over