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Dean Wareham @ The Turf Club

Apr 14, 2014

Dean Wareham played a concert Saturday night, April 12th, at the Turf Club as part of a tour promoting his new self-titled album.

Dean Wareham played a concert Saturday night, April 12th, at the Turf Club as part of a tour promoting his new self-titled album. Dean became known through his work as part of the influential Galaxie 500, a Boston/New York rock band active from 1987 to 1991. Galaxie 500 perfected a slow, dreamy sound which arguably foreshadowed college and alternative rock in the 90s. From 1991 to 2005 Dean Wareham was a songwriter for Luna and from 2003 was half of the duo Dean & Britta with his partner Britta Phillips. All this is to say, Dean Wareham has made a lot of great music for a long time!


Advance Base opened the show. Primary member Owen Ashworth worked formerly as Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. Like Casiotone, Advance Base pairs dreamy music with nostalgic lyrics. Owen’s spare setup consisted of a Fender Rhodes keyboard, a small drum machine, and a Fender amp. Owen lovingly teased twinkly chords out of his equipment. In between songs, he told stories about his life, his kids and mom, cheese sandwiches and driving to Minnesota in hail (he’s from Chicago). It was a bit like Beach House fronted by Louis C. K.


Next up, the headliner took the stage. The Turf Club was completely packed at this point. The crowd comprised a fairly wide age range, but it was dominated by 40-somethings with gray hairs and polite enthusiasm. Dean Wareham’s guitarist started the set by knocking over an acoustic guitar. It didn’t seem to matter as the band launched into a psychedelic throbber which was interesting as much as it was entrancing. Next the band played Galaxie 500s “Temperature’s Rising” and the crowd went nuts. The band played the song well. The song featured one of Dean’s delightful guitar solos. Dean was wearing a button down shirt, nice black jeans and some thick glasses. He was confident if slightly clumsy. His playing was at once both reserved and explosively energetic. The players matched each other’s energy much like their instruments, which were perfectly in tune. Song after song poured forth from the group including Luna’s “Tiger Lily” and a few more Galaxie 500 tracks. It felt like being at a cool Aunt or Uncle’s house where they feed you delicious ribs and have plenty of craft beer.

Dean Wareham also played a few of the tracks off his latest album. These new tracks were almost alarmingly spare and beautiful. They conveyed a sense of sadness at the end career well-lived. Here’s to hoping there are a few more years left of Dean’s creative output.

Dean Wareham closed the set with a lovely cover of Joy Division’s “Ceremony”, and then exited the stage, knocking over Britta’s bass guitar. It was fantastic. 

Luke Taylor