Versus | Union Hall | 11.09.2007

Versus_unionhallFriday 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.

MP3: Versus – Lose That Dress  (Buy Versus music)

Hey, someone shot video too:


  1. Uhhhhhh… holy crap!
    (oh, and fyi, the band also reunited for Teenbeat's 20th anniversary in DC back in February 2005. and it was glorious.)

  2. Whysall Lane is no longer.
    True Love Always is back together, working on a new album.
    I don't know the specific number, but it seems like they've
    reunited more than a few times since 2001 for one-off shows.

  3. VERSUS reunited, PETER played with CARL, a wedding, SARAH SILVERMAN & other recent UNION HALL happenings

    Peter Moren, Carl Newman & the happy couple, Nov 10, 2007 Eugene Mirman now pronounces you man & wife, Nov 10, 2007 Union Hall can now call itself home to at least two major indie rock weddings – both involving…

  4. You fools. Versus also played Noisepop in 2002, and opened for Mission of Burma that same year.

  5. the union hall show was a stellar affair. imagine if they would've promoted it?
    richard has returned to new york and james and pat have had some down time between +/- {plus/minus} business. fontaine lives in brooklyn.
    everyone is correct. since their 'break-up' they have had various one-off shows. this was their 1st gig since the 2005 teenbeat 20th anniversary. they have another gig slated for december 4th, 2007 w/yo la tengo at maxwell's
    perhaps this is the start of bigger things to come…
    there is more footage from this performance at youtube. check it… word.

  6. Teen Beat reunion DC 2005 was the shit. The Stars are Insane front to back as the set! fucking amazing.
    How did I not know about this. Shit! And hoboken's sold out. I hope there's more.

  7. I knew it! I was listening to Two Cnts Plustax the other day for a reason I guess. I hope they make a new record, after all, they were the most underated band ever. They are a huge influence on me still.

  8. They actually played a reunion show in Detroit a few years back (2004?) It ruled and they played everything.

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