Friday was a night of surprises at Union Hall. Earlier in the evening, Peter Moren tried out some solo material. But the real treat was after the night’s show (including David Kilgour and Euros Childs) was supposed to be over.
1990s indie faves Versus reunited for their
first second (???) first show in two years — the band broke up in 2001 but have played a few shows since, the last being Teenbeat’s 20th Anniversary Party in 2005. (Thanks commentors for helping me get this somewhat straight.) This wasn’t the start of a reformation, however — this was a 40th birthday present for former Teenbeat labelmate Matthew Datesman, who has logged time playing drums for various bands on that influential Arlington, VA label, including True Love Always, Aden, and currently Flin Flon. Teenbeat prez and Flin Flon singer Mark Robinson (who still looks like he’s 25) was one of the 50 or in attendence, most of whom were super-psyched to be seeing Versus.
Me, I’m not going to claim that I was ever more than a casual fan of the band, though did like 1996’s Secret Swingers quite a bit. And I’d forgotten just how good they were. And still are, even if Richard Baluyut needed a little lyrical help here and there. It was the end of a long night but damn if they didn’t sound great and if they were flubbing things I didn’t notice. No real surprise, they’ve continued to play in other projects (+/-, Whyshall Lane, The Fontaine Toups) but it was great to hear some of these songs again. I’ve really got to pull out some of those ’90s records and give them a fresh listen.
Hey, someone shot video too: