Sky’s the Limit for The Jesus And Mary Chain in Brooklyn

A lazy Sunday evening took a turn when hundreds of Brooklynites were transported back in time to one of the most riotous eras of punk rock. 

A shoulder-to-shoulder crowd packed the two-month old venue Brooklyn Steel on May 14, for a performance by the legendary ‘80s droning pop punk group, The Jesus and Mary Chain. It felt as if time had no effect on the feedback-loving band during their 19-year hiatus as they played their newest album Damage and Joy. The new tracks and on-stage chemistry between the band and featured guest Sky Ferreira felt like a perfect follow-up to their 1998 release of Munki.

Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s the group had a little more youthful angst, performing with their backs to the audience. Today, they still induce just as much of a drug-infused haze over the crowd, only facing forward.

“Always Sad” live, Video courtesy of YouTube user Sharon Patricia

The band mixed classic tracks with new material, offering a fresh feeling set that still gave longtime fans a chance to sing along to classics. Their highest charting track, “Just Like Honey,” (which made a comeback in 2003 when featured in Lost In Translation) was left for the encore.

During many past performances, they’ve been joined on stage by stars such as Scarlett Johansson. ScarJo was a no-show but May 14 didn’t lack for celebrity firepower. Musician and model (and Twin Peaks cast member), Sky Ferreira, who contributed dreamy vocals to “Black and Blue” on Damage and Joy,  joined them for encores, including “Just Like Honey.”

Ferreira’s made no secret of her passion for Jesus and Mary Chain, saying on her Instagram that the Scottish group is among her top five favorite bands. She understandably seemed nervous to join her idols onstage. But once she got into her groove, she made an elegant addition to the songs and they would’ve otherwise felt empty without her.

At the end of the show, the hundreds of Brooklynites who shared this surreal journey of time travelling via The Jesus and Mary Chain, huddled outside the venue to bask in the glory. Everyone eventually walked away intoxicated by the ecstasy of their experience and with the existential dread of what the hell to do with themselves now.