Mazzy Star Plays Ventura Theater

Singer Hope Sandoval, Bandmates Sounded Both Fresh and Timeless

Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval & David Roback

On Thursday, November 1, Mazzy Star gave a rare performance at the Majestic Ventura Theater. Fronted by the diminutive songstress Hope Sandoval, whose vocals exuded both detached sultriness and a certain drawling jouissance, and accompanied by David Roback and his wonderful guitar lines and arrangements, which often draw on the sensibilities of 1960s California psychedelia, Mazzy Star continually raised the bar by sounding both fresh and timelessly classic.

Commencing with the poignant Flowers in December, the group continued with the twangy, pedal steel number Lay Myself Down — projected film images cascading over them and onto a screen. After Sandoval paused for a sip of red wine, the band broke into a superb version of Ride It On. However, the group stopped playing during Into Dust due to the noisy audience; but thankfully rallied with Quiet, the Winter Harboron which keyboardist Suki Ewers got to shine.

“Darker, darker, darker, darker, darker…” Sandoval anxiously implored the lighting technicians. Soon enough, both band and audience were cloaked in a spectral darkness, illuminated only slightly by flickering candlelight from onstage, which helped coax a sublime rendition of Look on Down from the Bridge. Then, the Doors-ish She Hangs Brightly was featured, on which drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig slayed. The classic ’90s tunes Blue Light, Halah, Blue Flower, Fade Into You, and Disappear poured forth in quick succession, to the audience’s immense pleasure. The new, super-heavy psychedelic iteration of So Tonight That I Might See (Ascension Version) also won hearts over, while the dreamy Bells Ring rounded out the stellar set.

Encoring with the bluesy Cry, Cry and a trippy jam, the master musicians of Mazzy Star proved that commitment to true artistry without compromise is what matters most.


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