On Thursday night, The Jesus And Mary Chain shared a live stage for the first time in getting on for a decade. World Entertainment News Network sounded like it felt cheated:
They had Annie Hardy from Giant Drag, they had the Jesus and Mary Chain in front of them, playing a gig that, if not quite historic was certainly significant, and they're moaning they didn't get a woman from a cosmetic commercial.
Added to which, nobody expected her for the warm up: she was always going to shimmy on for the main event, the first night of this year's Coachella festival.
Stereogum has pictorial evidence and The Desert Sun reported the required Hollywood star was present and correct:
But, as Rolling Stone Rock Daily observed, Johansson was merely a bit part player:
The San Jose Mercury dispatched the glamour girl and quickly got down to what the music world wants to know - how do they sound now?
The rest of the set mixed old favorites like “Some Candy Talking” and “Reverence” with a handful of new songs. The band was on good behavior; there were none of the drink- or drug-fueled tirades one might have seen in the ’90s, and they didn’t seem rusty. But overall, it was less exciting than you would hope for the high-profile reunion show of such an influential band. Let’s hope the Rage Against the Machine and Crowded House reunions are more inspired on Sunday.
Ouch. If you come away thinking "blimey, only Crowded House can save my faith in music", that doesn't bode too well.
Reading the NME report, it's clear that the Reids are as cantankerous as ever, and probably not that bothered about lukewarm reactions from Californian papers:
"This is fucking unreal," frontman Jim Reid told the massive crowd.
"Are you having fun?" he asked. When the crowd responded positively he quipped, "Well let's see what we can do about that!"
This didn't stop the audience from dancing and cheering throughout their hour-long set.
That observation sounds less like an NME review and more like something you'd expect to hear on a Pathe newsreel from the coronation.
Mind you, Billboard's review sounds like something from Saturday Club, or black and white era kids TV:
Well, that is a peppy new tune. Well done, Mr. Reid.
Further proof that MTV knows the sales of everything and the value of nothing, the MTV website was flabbergasted that the Mary Chain reunion could beat Rage Against The Machine:
The assumption being that, if you're too young to have heard of a band from ten years ago, you might have heard of a movie from five years ago, of course.
Actually, people young enough to not know either seemed to lap it up, according to It Came From Culture City:
That kid could boogie.
And Gemma is as old as John Peel, compared with René Valentino Garcia, III, who's only two and blogged the set:
You'll be thankful when you get to our age that Mom and Dad use ear protection for you, young man.
But even a two year-old might be puzzled: By what standard would MTV argue that the RATM reunion "rightfully overshadowed" the JAMC one? Rage always were one note, and the stuff their descendant bands have been doing since they broke up has been like they've never been away anyway. Not to mention that the bad blood and fighting which the Mary Chain dissolved in made their coming back together a triumph over adversity rather than what seemed to be little more than the orchestration of schedules which reunited the Machine.
But while MTV expected little and found treasure, Entertainment Weekly Popwatch wasn't entirely impressed with the performance:
LA Weekly's Style Council suggested that this might be the factor which will allow the Mary Chain to run as long as the Rolling Stones - or maybe longer:
The kindness of the years to Reids was commented on by The Riverboat Captain, too:
Which is more than you can say for both the Beach Boys - and, indeed, mescaline.
The Chicago Tribune plumps for a different combination:
Only a cameo vocal by a supremely ill-at-ease Scarlett Johansson on “Just Like Honey” strikes a false note.
It was, after all, about the brothers.