“This is the first show we’ve played in two years,” warned Norman Blake as Teenage Fanclub kicked off their performance in front of an excited New York crowd. Quite honestly, the warning wasn’t necessary. Even with their sporadic touring schedule, Teenage Fanclub remain one of the tightest, most precise bands in the world, and on a cool summer night along the Hudson River, the legendary power-pop band absolutely delivered. Even though their decision to not play many of the hits left a few fans grousing, the band’s trademark harmonies and jangly guitars put smiles on the faces of everyone within earshot.
Teenage Fanclub’s last U.S. performances coincided with the release of their last album, Shadows, and much of their set pulled that album and 1997’s Songs From Northern Britian. The band’s sun-drenched harmonies were pitch-perfect, even if Blake’s voice isn’t the same as it was in 1992. Blake and Gerard Love’s vocals on “Ain’t That Enough” were a particular highlight, so much so that you could imagine Gene Clark nodding his head in approval. Fans looking for some of the older hits weren’t left in the lurch, though, as the band closed out with the one-two-three punch of “The Concept,” “Sparky’s Dream,” and this writer’s personal favorite, “Everything Flows.” Hopefully we won’t have to wait another two years for Teenage Fanclub to play again, but when they come back, you can certainly find me front and center.
– Kevin Korber