On Saturday, 27 June, I saw a concert by Steve Wynn and his band, the Miracle 3, at the Bell House in Brooklyn. Before I attended this show, I did not really know anything about Steve Wynn. I was aware that he had collaborated with Scott McCaughey, one of my personal favorite musicians, but I had not even heard said collaboration. So I was essentially starting from a blank slate. I must say, however, that I enjoyed the show. The music was fun and catchy rock, played in a fairly straightforward fashion, and Steve was a very confident and charismatic performer.
The majority of the show consisted of the band playing the album Medicine Show, a 1984 release from Steve’s old band, the Dream Syndicate, in order. He even mentioned when they had finished the first side of the record. According to Steve’s website, while many of the songs were common inclusions in his live sets, he had not played the entire album until this show. He had done something similar back in 2001 for the Dream Syndicate’s first album, The Days of Wine and Roses, and has another Medicine Show concert coming up on July 9, 2009 in Los Angeles at The Echo. Since the album was released in the eighties, references to that decade were frequent throughout Steve’s performance.
I believe that the last few songs the band played were not from the album. Before one of them, he mentioned taking the set into the twenty-first century, so I assume it was a more recent song of his. I did find it kind of interesting that they saved most of the longer songs, with extended guitar solos and improvisation, for the end of the set. I am not generally a fan of long guitar solos, and these did start to get to me after a little while, but they were still fun. He ended up doing the very last song of the night against the wishes of the venue enforcer, saying he would hurry through it, but I did not notice that it was any shorter than any of their other numbers. So it was certainly an enjoyable experience, and Steve is definitely a musician I plan to learn more about in the future.