MJ Lenderman played Hardcore Stadium – 2/8

Singer/songwriter MJ Lenderman and his band The Wind sold out the Cambridge Elks with support from Florry and Horse Jumper of Love’s Dimitri Giannopoulos.

There was some measure of déjà vu in the air at the Elks a couple weeks back as MJ Lenderman stepped to the stage (the part of the floor that serves as one, anyway). A year-and-change prior, Lenderman stood in the same spot as a member of country-shoegazers Wednesday for a packed and magical show that foreshadowed bigger gigs to come for that band, and here he was selling out the same space solo. Or, as solo as you can get when your bandmates also back your solo project. It’s a little complicated.

What’s important is that Lenderman was present to regale a rapt audience on his first headlining tour since the release of Boat Songs, one of my (and many others’) favorite releases of last year. The elevator pitch for his style goes something like Jason Molina writing songs about Michael Jordan flu game conspiracy theories (and boats, naturally), but Lenderman is truly in his own lane. Brought to life by a five-piece band dubbed The Wind (which included Wednesday bandleader Karly Hartzman on guitar nd backing vox), the songs took flight in all their ramshackle glory, transcending the sometimes-shaky sound clarity of a basement PA rig.

Philly’s Florry served as direct support, delivering a rollicking set of their alt-country-rock before joining up with Lenderman and company to close out the night with a group singalong of the classic Neil Young/Crazy Horse joint “Powderfinger.” That’s a perfect song in any context, but it sounded even more so as a cap to this evening.

Check out photos from both bands, as well as a few from a short but sweet solo acoustic set by Dimitri Giannopoulos, of local slowcore luminaries Horse Jumper of Love, below.