NEIL HALSTEAD AT UNION HALL

by john cole

I wasn’t old enough to have seen Slowdive, back in the early 90’s. At that point I believe I was still learning how to write in cursive.   So Friday night at Union Hall was kind-of a big deal for me. Neil Halstead, the former Slowdive and more current Mojave 3 front-man was on tour in support of his latest solo album Oh! Mighty Engine which was released last summer off of Brushfire Records.

Artist: Neil Halstead
Song: A Gentle Heart


Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch the openers for the show which consisted of Sara Van Etten and Brian Bonz, two New York musicians. I’m not the biggest supporter of long sets, but I must say that all of it was really enjoyable, even if I was able to hear the bocce balls roll down the floor above me as Neil played. About three quarters through the set I noticed people starting to leave, or heading upstairs and joining the annoying yuppie bar crowd that polluted the main floor. Regardless, Neil who was backed up at times by a bassist and guitarist was very pleasing. He played a number of songs from Oh! Mighty Engine, and two of my favorites from that album “Sometimes The Wheels” and “A Gentle Heart.” Despite the random shout-outs of older songs, Neil did play a Slowdive original, “40 Days.” He also played a few Mojave 3 numbers as well. In the end, I was so satisfied to had seen a musician I still idolize, whether or not there are any plans for a *Slowdive* reunion. It may just be better off that way.

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