Luna is the indie rock band you’ve been looking for, but you wouldn’t know it. I was the youngest person at Luna’s show at The Haunt on Oct. 16. Even though I felt like I was hanging out with my parents’ cool friends, I found a new favorite band. The band was formed 10 years before I was born, but their music is just as good today as it was then.
Luna’s performance at The Haunt had a simple setup, with a vocalist, two guitars, a bassist and a drummer. With few instruments and effects, the band created a dreamy yet grounded sound. The guitarists’ sound was ethereal, yet the bass and drums connected the audience into the world of the almost psychedelic melodies of the guitars. Vocalist Dean Wareham has a clear, soothing, down-to-Earth voice which reminds me of the realness and emotion of Lou Reed in Pale Blue Eyes.
Like the music of Mazzy Star, Luna washes over you. I turned to my friend and told her “I’m dissociating” during the song “Fuzzy Wuzzy,” where the thrumming of the guitars and the constant palpitating bass put me under a spell. Later songs broke this spell with harder rock guitar solos which put me in a state of awe and excitement.
Most of the audience was my age in the 90s, just when Luna was at its most popular. All eyes of the colorful crowd of middle-aged Ithacans were fixed on the stage; as they swayed and smiled, perhaps being transported back in time, I could see the profound impact of this music on these people’s lives. A pony-tailed man in a Yankees hat seemed like he wanted to mosh, an ecstatic woman in a blue cowboy hat danced across all corners of The Haunt and no one was posting on their Snapchat stories — they simply enjoyed the show. Having been to a few Ithaca concerts filled with college students, being in a smaller venue without a pair of Fila sneakers in sight was refreshing.
If you’re just starting to listen to Luna, like I am, I recommend you begin with their most famous album from 1994, Bewitched. The first song on the album, “California (All the Way),” will transport you to a grungy yet homey basement. “Going Home” made me feel the same way I felt visiting home on fall break for the first time after a breakup; “I love her still,” Wareham sings, “we’re goin’ home.” By the last song on the album, you feel like you’ve been catching up with your best friend from high school. You feel might feel a little sad, but understood.
I didn’t know the band Luna before the concert, but after I saw them live, I added Luna’s music to my most listened-to playlists. Whether you’re walking to class on a rainy day or just chilling in bed thinking after a long day, Luna is there for you.
This article was edited to correct an error regarding an album by a different band also named Luna.
Emma Plowe is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected].