One likes to imagine that it might even be fun for Mission of Burma to tour their two hoary post-punk classics, Signals, Calls & Marches (1981) and Vs. (1983). An ’83 breakup kept the erstwhile Boston band from ever creeping into greatest-hits territory, and an ’02 reunion quickly yielded two very good suites of new material and very little in the way of nostalgia.
Someone, however, has talked them into their own past. A two-night stand at
the Bowery, which began last night with a track-for-track take on Signals’s enduring college-rock—“That’s When I Reach for My Revolver,” “Academy Fight Song”—finishes up tonight with Vs., the band’s first full-length album. Once a grinding, sophisticated monument to the quartet’s unfulfilled potential,
the record returns to New York triumphant. It’ll all end on “That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate”—how they knew they would even back then, who knows?

Sun., June 15, 8 p.m., 2008

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