“I was gonna say that we’re going to play an old song, but…” J Robbins quipped halfway during Friday night’s show. Vaunted DC quartet Jawbox decided to join the throngs who shake a couple decades worth of dust from their road cases and get back on the stage. Not counting a small hometown warm up gig, tonight would kick off their official return, and the Dischord band confidently blazed through a wide swath of their material. Bassist Kim Coletta was beaming all night like she held the winning lottery ticket in eight states, J Robbins was celebrating his birthday, Bill Barbot was busy slashing away at his guitar, creating an intricate weave with Robbins, and drummer Zach Barocas is a prodigious drummer, always creating interesting patterns without overplaying.
The first of two sold out nights was brimming with energy, and the high points of the set were the driving “Tongues,” “Static” and a heartfelt cover of Drew O’Doherty’s “The Robbery.” There were no stage jitters, no hesitation, no ambivalence, just a band delivering what they came to deliver, and then some. Once the last notes of Tori Amos’ “Cornflake Girl” faded in the air, the crowd was all smiles and more than a few had a bewildered “did that really happen?” look on their face. Welcome back, Jawbox!
Photos of the show: