Sebadoh at the Paradise Rock Club on March 30

A review of Sebadoh at the Paradise Rock Club on March 30, 2007

, Staff Writer

Lou Barlow once joked about waiting for an “Uncles of Indie Rock” tour to get back with his seminal indie band Sebadoh. With reunions from the Pixies, another Barlow project Dinosaur Jr., and the classic Sebadoh lineup which came through the Paradise, it looks like that time is upon us.

Barlow and band mates Jason Loewenstein and Eric Gaffney are not so much touring in support of the re-release of their classic album, Sebadoh III, as they are touring in recognition of the album and its lasting importance and influence on music. The lo-fi, home-recorded sound of the band has been adopted and adapted by countless bands that don’t have the money or the desire to record in a sterile studio environment.

On Friday night, audience members at the Paradise packed the venue for different reasons. Some were nostalgic for music that they grew up on while others were seeking out a band that they discovered in the used cd bin at their local record store. The band welcomed this dynamic, as Barlow said, “This is what we used to do. We are recreating the show.”

The show that they recreated featured rotating instrumentation with Barlow switching between bass and acoustic or electric guitars and the other two members playing drums, bass, or guitar at some point during the set. The songs that Barlow fronted were predominantly acoustic driven with sweet, discernible melodies while Gaffney’s were electric and more abrasive. The band shifted rapidly between genres over the course of the night, and the concert played much like a Guided By Voices album, with many quick snippets of song ideas between more fully developed pieces.

Barlow showed his age, and the disparity of age in the crowd, by asking, “How many of you were 15 in 1989?” before starting off “Homemade,” a quiet / loud / quiet song from 1993. Introducing “Forced Love” Barlow played up his local connection (the band formed in Amherst, MA) saying, “I wrote this song in Somerville.” The sold-out crowd responded as expected.

Sebadoh took three encore breaks, each of which played into the inconsistent feel of the night. The second encore featured their best song of the night, “Got It” from the album Bakesale, and the third was buoyed by “Bouquet for a Siren.”

As they took the stage for their third encore, after over two hours of playing, Barlow said to the expectant crowd, “There is only one more song left to play.” That song was, of course, “Gimmie Indie Rock,” a song at once saluting and satirizing the beloved genre with blasts of fuzz and sharp lyrics. Sebadoh helped to give us indie rock by their past musical contributions. It was fitting that Boston was allowed to show its appreciation.&

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