Damage and Joy: The Jesus & Mary Chain in Toronto

Ottawa photographer Dan Nawrocki recently travelled to his hometown of Toronto for a special concert event. Here's his review and photographs.

For those of  us with a penchant for great live music, it often doesn't take much more than mere suggestion of a given band's imminent tour for one to immediately drop everything, and trek far and wide without hesitation to bear witness.

Jim Reid of The Jesus & Mary Chain at Massey Hall in Toronto. May 12, 2017. Photo: Dan Nawrocki.
Jim Reid of The Jesus & Mary Chain at Massey Hall in Toronto. May 12, 2017. Photo: Dan Nawrocki.

On this particular night, the band was influential Scottish alternative rock group, The Jesus and Mary Chain. The City -Toronto. The venue – historic Massey Hall.

The initial whispers on this one actually started as far back as September 2015, when founding member and lead singer Jim Reid announced that the band was in the process of recording their first studio album since 1998. That album, entitled Damage and Joy was released on March 24th, 2017  The show certainly did not disappoint.

William Reid of The Jesus & Mary Chain at Massey Hall in Toronto. May 12, 2017. Photo: Dan Nawrocki.
William Reid of The Jesus & Mary Chain at Massey Hall in Toronto. May 12, 2017. Photo: Dan Nawrocki.

For those not already well-versed with the iconic band, they originally formed in East Kilbride Scotland back in 1983 and the ever changing line-up revolves around an often turbulent collaboration of two brothers, Jim Reid (lead vocals – guitar) and William Reid (lead guitar – vocals).

Since their debut album Psychocandy was released to critical acclaim back in 1985, the band went on to release five more studio albums before disbanding in 1999, and then reuniting once again in 2007.

The Jesus and Mary Chain at Massey Hall in Toronto. May 12, 2017. Photo: Dan Nawrocki
The Jesus and Mary Chain at Massey Hall in Toronto. May 12, 2017. Photo: Dan Nawrocki

The current tour is in support of the bands long-awaited seventh studio album, and featured a carefully orchestrated set list that effortlessly balanced material from their phenomenal new album with a series of retrospective explorations from their extended catalogue. The band performed in the forefront of a giant backdrop of the Damage and Joy soup bowl graphic on an otherwise trade-mark minimalist, and often dimly-lit melancholy stage.

Jim Reid of The Jesus & Mary Chain at Massey Hall in Toronto. May 12, 2017. Photo: Dan Nawrocki.
Jim Reid of The Jesus & Mary Chain at Massey Hall in Toronto. May 12, 2017. Photo: Dan Nawrocki.

Along with founding members, Jim & William Reid, the bands current line-up is comprised of along the Black Ryder's Scott Von Ryper on guitar, ex-Fountains of Wayne drummer Brian Young and long-time touring member Mark Crozer on guitar.  The band was also supported by Philadelphia Alt-rock group The Cobbs who opened the night.

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