Last weekend found the foursome in top form, as they wound their way through two hour-long sets of dark textures, complex rhythms and tightly leashed jams in front of a sold-out crowd at Babylon, one of Istanbul’s best live-music clubs. The rapturous response from the hometown crowd, which eventually spilled out onto the narrow streets and ancient cobblestones of the Beyoglu neighborhood, elevated the show to a plane somewhere above an ordinary Saturday night. This got me thinking — what are the quintessential hometown gigs? As usual, YouTube makes a few convincing arguments, but I know there are others. So how about it: What are the world’s best band-venue combos? Here are a few contenders.
1. Iron Maiden – “Run to the Hills” (Rock in Rio, 2001). Bruce is still louder than a quarter of a million screaming Brazilians. But just barely.
2. The Roots – “You Got Me” (TLA, Philadelphia, 2008). These Philly heroes are definitely best experienced anywhere but a liberal-arts college campus.
3. Fugazi – “Repeater” (Fort Reno park, Washington, D.C., 1997). DC’s best band, playing in a public park for free. The only illumination is a street light.
4. The Misfits – “Hatebreeders” and “Braineaters” (Plan 9 Records, Lodi, NJ, 1983). Live at Danzig’s record label in Jerz.
5. Björk – “The Dull Flame of Desire” (Langholtskirkja, Reykyavik, Iceland, 2008). Björk in an Iceland church is my idea of a religious experience.
6. Joy Division – “She Lost Control” and “Shadowplay” (Altrincham, near Manchester, 1979). Super 8 footage from a youth club in a Manchester suburb (since demolished). Posted by Ian Curtis’ widow?
In New York? Catch Erşahin at the Nublu Jazz Festival with I Led Three Lives (feat. Eddie Henderson) on November 6th and as part of the Wonderland quartet on November 14th.