Somewhere, Czechoslovak communists are turning in their graves.
Last night’s show at the Vltavská Cultural Center in Prague had the rock band Primal Scream playing in what appeared to be the basement of a run-down building adorned with old, ugly socialist realism sculptures. The near atomic combination of the eye-searing, color-saturated, bright visuals and ear bleeding volume of the show must have exorcised the last communist ghost from that old building.
The show was a top to bottom rendition of the landmark 1991 album Screamadelica. However, the performance was much more than a note for note run through of the LP. Songs were stretched, deepened and improvised upon until the blistering performance of the album almost lived up to the hype that surrounds it. Bobby Gillespie and Co. strutted and swaggered through the songs, inspiring the packed crowd to dance, pogo and head nod their way through the set. The disposition of the crowd was euphoric and ended up being one of the most polite crowds I’ve ever been in – even while standing about 3 rows from the stage.
Last night was the final night of their European tour. However, if you happen to be reading this from Japan, do yourself a favor and catch the show. It’s a powerful performance of a classic album.