The Dream Syndicate played often at the original 9:30 Club in the ‘80s, a memory that prompted frontman Steve Wynn to call the outfit “the house band” for a time. On Friday, Steve was pleased to find himself back in DC with a 9:30 Club Production with his finely tuned and reformed band.
At U Street Music Hall, The Dream Syndicate, which has proven prolific with three records in the past three years, bridged time with selections from their most recent, These Times, back to their debut, The Days of Wine and Roses from 1982.
Although The Dream Syndicate are very much a psychedelic band, they played with a sense of purpose. That’s not to say things felt urgent but the songs certainly carry weight and character, pleasing the dedicated audience with their warmth and authenticity.
Steve was a natural frontman, chatting with ease as if he were directly addressing old friends. He focused mostly on These Times, introducing show opener Stephen McCarthy as an old friend who lent vocals to the new record. As the main set wound toward an end, Stephen joined the band on stage to sing along to some of the new songs.
Stream These Times by The Dream Syndicate on Spotify:
The Dream Syndicate took its name from a collective also known as the Theatre of Eternal Music, which included John Cale, among others. In their encore, the band covered some tunes by its predecessors, carrying the original psychedelia of the masters into the future. And in so doing The Dream Syndicate demonstrated its staying power — Steve and company have a way of making everything old seem new again.
Here are some pictures of The Dream Syndicate performing at U Street Music Hall on May 10, 2019. All photos copyright and courtesy of Jason Nicholson.