Superchunk live @ Paradise Rock Club [06-13-22] Boston, MA

Superchunk live @ Paradise Rock Club [06-13-22] Boston, MA

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

What a year it’s been for live shows and what a time to be alive. Many of us took up hobbies during COVID and mine was trying to fill some gaps in my musical knowledge. Boy, did Superchunk fill that gap. Very seldom does a perfect band come along: one with a rich back catalog and a whole approach to making music that seems perfectly catered to your sensibilities. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of Superchunk until a few years ago. Their latest album Wild Loneliness is sure to be in our top ten of this year and after a false start for shows earlier this year (they had some cancellations due to COVID), they are back, hopefully healthy, ready to rock, and with the added bonus of playing the Paradise rock club, one of the best venues in Boston.

I’m trying to make sense of the turnout for this show, because I was fully prepared to be cramped into the space, but was a little surprised to see the venue only half-full by the time Superchunk took the stage. I’m going to chalk this up to the Paradise being in the Boston University area and the semester having ended, also to people still being worried about COVID (the band kindly asked that everyone wear masks at the show), and also to the Celtics finals game being on that night. But no matter, Superchunk rocked whoever came, and I got to watch them in the front row: a first for me at the Paradise.

I knew I was going to be at a disadvantage with the band’s large back catalog and my only being familiar with four of their albums, but I wasn’t prepared for a setlist that spanned so much of their career. We were treated to some choice cuts from the latest album, along with tunes from So Jealous, Majesty Shredding, On the Mouth, and others including the title track from What a Time to Be Alive and everyone’s favorite Slack Motherfucker. What makes this show so special is the showmanship of everyone in the band. Superchunk has been together for over 30 years and play like veterans, effortlessly comfortable with the material, very tight, and still rocking as hard as any band half their age. I mostly attribute this to Jon Wurster’s drumming which is driving, elaborate, and very fun to watch (especially when you don’t know the songs). Of course people lost their shit when they played Slack Motherfucker, the Sebadoh cover Brand New Love, and Tossing Seeds along with some accompaniment by Torres. It was a situation where everyone was in good spirits and made it one of the best shows I’ve been to this year.

Superchunk played a glorious set on a wonderful night and I didn’t even care that I missed the Celtics game. When you hold a band to such high standards, you run the risk of disappointment when you finally see them live, to the point of almost being turned off. Instead, Superchunk’s shows make you a more devout fan. The band is still on tour, so go see them, you dummy!

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