Nov. 17, 2011
Better than: New Kids on the Block performing their No. 1 British album, Step By Step in its entirety.
Robyn Hitchcock recorded Eye in San Francisco more than 20 years ago, and last night he returned to perform the entire album live at Slim's — but with no lack of new material. While most legacy acts touring to perform classic albums from their back catalog do so because they haven't written a compelling new album in decades, Hitchcock has steadily released many volumes of surreal, hyper-literate pop and toured extensively to support them. He chose to revisit an old album for one night, in the city that originally nurtured it, perhaps for the sake of artistic diversity. And Eye is a work of understated, acoustic brilliance — quite a departure from Hitchcock's last record, Propellor Time, which uses a full band to create a four-on-the-floor swagger. But regardless of Hitchcock's reasons for returning to an old album during a creative high-point in his career, last night's results were mesmerizing.