Live Review: Luna Honey @ DC9 — 2/26/22

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Luna Honey performs at DC9 on Feb. 26, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

(Editor’s Note: It’s been longer than we would like since this show but Luna Honey are a wildly innovative and important DC band, and so we present this belated review of a recent concert.)

Experimental rock trio Luna Honey opened a recent turn at DC9 with a droning, wheezing, foreboding dirge of a song called “The Sky Is Blue” from their most recent album, and immediately enthralled the growing crowd gathering for a night of post-punk bands.

“The Sky Is Blue” hails from Luna Honey’s most latest record, Ballast, published via Blight Records and Venas Rotas Discos last October. On stage at DC9 on Feb. 26, vocalist Maura Pond trilled and warbled over the ominous oozing guitar and bass combo of Benjamin Schurrand Levi Flack respectively. Were you to look at this on paper, you might wonder if a song like “The Sky Is Blue” was some monastic if romantic indulgence. But seeing it live was a exciting, engaging experience that stirred the mind and body and left you wanting more.

Bear with me now, as I’m about to make one of those tired analogies that reviewers often make, but I have to imagine that watching Luna Honey live is akin to seeing Kate Bush from 1977 front the Velvet Underground from 1966.

A few songs later, Luna Honey also presented “Intervention” from their 2021 album, injecting a hypnotic, languid beat into an increasingly lilting vocal that sounded as if Maura were wearily talking to you while smoking a cigarette and sipping on cognac from a cafe sidewalk.

Watch a lyric video for “Intervention” by Luna Honey on YouTube:

The rest of the six-song set flew by too quickly, with Luna Honey performing to open New York City’s Pagaent Girls. In their set, the DC trio showcased selections from their four years or so of recording — including standout number “Rapture,” which distinctly felt like Nico hovering over a spaghetti Western soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. The effect was transporting, pleasing, and altogether absorbing.

Luna Honey took top marks in our 2019 Thrushie Awards for “Best DC Band,” and it’s little wonder. At the time, Luna Honey were riding high on their critically acclaimed 2018 record, Peace Will Grind You Down, which captured a lot of new listeners for the band. This was Luna Honey’s first public live performance since the end of pandemic lockdowns, and we can only imagine that a few of the selections performed at DC9 last month were new items slated for another fascinating album. Standy by for more ensuing buzz — err… droning.

Here are some pictures of Luna Honey performing at DC9 on Feb. 26, 2022.

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