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Sebadoh half-baked but full-steaming at 400 Bar

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider under Music Updated: November 3, 2011 - 10:05 AM
Sebadoh's passport photos (l-r): Bob Fay, Jason Loewenstein, Lou Barlow.

Sebadoh's passport photos (l-r): Bob Fay, Jason Loewenstein, Lou Barlow.

Sebadoh’s gig last night at the 400 Bar clocked in at just over two hours and featured more than 30 songs, mostly ones off the Boston trio's newly reissued “Bakesale” and “Harmacy” albums. Amazingly, though, the concert probably only amounted to an hour or so of music all told.

Lou Barlow -- friends with the bar’s operating brothers -- was in an especially jovial mood and wound up going off on many rants and routines between songs, coming off like a cross between Larry David and Jello Biafra (ornery but funny). When bandmate and comedy partner Jason Loewenstein inquired about a buzzing sound, Barlow cracked, “It’s the same undiagnosed problem with the amplifier that we’ve had for the past three tours.” Lou went off on tangents about Amphetamine Reptile label founder and Grumpy’s co-owner Tom Hazelmyer and Hüsker Dü. Loewenstein proceeded to play the riff in “Chartered Trips” and beginnings of about three other “Zen Arcade” tracks, then he quipped, “Now I have to play one of my crappy songs.”

Toward the end of the set, during a string of especially moody and down-and-out songs (“Not a Friend,” “Brand New Love,”) Barlow humorously summed up Sebadoh’s legacy among '90s indie darlings this way: “I knew the first time I saw Pavement and Teenage Fan Club, I said Sebadoh is not going to last. Nobody likes furrowed eyebrows on stage.”

Sure they do. Wednesday’s crowd was disappointingly small (about 100 people) but not surprisingly rabid, often calling out song titles and literally thanking the guys after certain ones. The serious appreciation was especially evident in the encore with “Not Too Amused,” “Beauty of the Ride” and “Willing to Wait.”

Earlier in the set, after Barlow finished singing “License to Confuse,” one dude showed his approval by yelling out, “Too short!” (Indeed, another reason there were so many songs with so little total music was the brevity of the material.) An amused Barlow asked, “You wanna hear it again?” Yep, they did the whole shebang a second time, and it sounded even better.

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