Sunny Day Real Estate at First Ave

There are bands you will never get to see live. Nirvana, for one. And for awhile, it seemed that Sunny Day Real Estate--another Seattle band, whose breakout album came on the heels of Nevermind--would forever be consigned to this category.

More influential than profitable, Sunny Day virtually created emo, but never lived to capitalize. The individual members went their separate ways, to play in Dave Grohl's Foo Fighters and entertain solo careers. Then, against all expectations, they reunited. Last night they played First Ave, and it was worth the wait.

The setlist sampled from all four of albums, but focused on Diary and LP2, which were recorded when the original lineup was intact. When the band launched into "Seven," a modest hit that saw rotation on MTV, it was clear they were picking up right where they left off.

Sunny Day masterfully recreated the intricate, beautifully wrought album cuts note for note. Jeremy Enigk's soaring, ethereal vocals are like nothing else, and years of lame emo imitations have done nothing to diminish the original. The stage offered little in the way of decoration or theatrics, but that only put greater emphasis on the auditory gymnastics.

One can only hope this tour results in a fifth album. If nothing else, SDRE gave fans an unexpected gift simply by playing these songs live again.


Check out the the slideshow by Steven Cohen.