Superchunk at the South Street Seaport
Twenty years of Superchunk. Twenty years of Merge Records. Mac MacCaughan and Laura Ballance, co-founders of both, have got to be feeling pretty good about things. And they certainly weren’t at a loss for energy on Friday night. Following a great set from Versus (a sometimes-Merge band that’s back at it after quite a few years off), Superchunk hit the gas and never let up.
As the sun disappeared behind the looming skyscrapers of the Financial District and mist thickened over the East River, the band laid down a set of songs from all over their two decades of existence. Though the Seaport has the potential to kill rock ‘n’ roll vibes with its touristy surroundings, Superchunk was immune to any such bumming-out. Instead they chugged, jumped, squealed and shouted like they were trying to blow the roof off of some smoky and sweaty midsized club.
And, indeed, they even seemed close to blowing the roof off of the dark and cloudy Manhattan sky, as a few errant rain drops hinted at an impending downpour. Fortunately, the deluge held off long enough for the band to bust out an encore of “Slack Motherfucker,” a killer finale for a refreshingly spirited show.
The night was a taste of the sort of celebratory goodness that will no doubt be in great abundance next week at Merge XX , a festival in Carborro, NC celebrating the label’s two decades. And that’s not all. There’s also a book (Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, The Indie Label that Got Big and Stayed Small) coming out in September that chronicles the label’s history.
After the break, watch the video I shot of “Slack Motherfucker,” see a couple more photos, and take a peek at some pages from Our Noise.