Come played Union Pool – 12/28

The once-more reunited original lineup of gale-force rockers Come played the first of two shows at Brooklyn’s Union Pool last Friday. 

Come are your favorite 90s band’s favorite 90s band. A standout even among that decade’s very stacked Matador Records roster, the foursome toured with the likes of Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. in their heyday, and despite never hitting a commercial breakthrough, commanded an adoring faction of critics and distinguished fans across a decade-long, four-LP career. Their dark, dense and bluesy style – once described to me by Chavez’s Matt Sweeney as “something that people hadn’t figured out about The Rolling Stones” – sounded singular both then and now.

The group disbanded around the turn of the millennium, but co-leaders Thalia Zedek and Chris Brokaw have collaborated since and occasionally revisited those songs on stage – including as part of a full-band reunion celebrating a reissue of their debut Eleven : Eleven in 2013. Five years later, a few holiday season shows were in the cards, and you can bet that was worth the bus trip to NYC.

Friday’s show was opened by onetime Matador labelmate Jennifer O’Connor, who played an engaging solo set while road-testing lots of new material. A capacity crowd jammed into Union Pool’s tiny back room by the start of Come’s set, which kicked off with the mighty roar of “Off to One Side.” With guitarists Zedek and Brokaw joined by founding drummer and bassist Arthur Johnson and Sean O’Brien, respectively, the band quickly locked in and rarely let up for the rest of the night. The instrumental chemistry that helped make Come so remarkable at their outset remains undiminished nearly three decades later, and they had channeled it into an enthrallingly intense (and loud) set for the first of the weekend’s two eager crowds.

Check out photos from the evening below.