Live Review: Filthy Friends, Dressy Bessy, Brooklyn, May 24, 2019

It’s FFF (Filthy Friends Friday) at MAGNET, so we’re bringing you live reviews of the band’s recent shows in Philly and NYC. Our M.J. Fine (words) and Chris Sikich (photos) followed the supergroup—members of R.E.M., Sleater-Kinney, Minus 5, Baseball Project, Young Fresh Fellows and too many more to name—up the Northeast corridor to bring you the dirt on these Filthy Friends and their pals Dressy Bessy.

The best thing about seeing Filthy Friends on a larger stage is watching them move. While Johnny Brenda’s in Philly offered a better closeup view, at Music Hall Of Williamsburg, each member of the band had more breathing room, and it was a pure joy to see Peter Buck take full advantage of the extra space to jump, kick and squat while dashing off guitar lines that are clear kin to those on “Shaking Through,” “Little America” and “Bad Day.”

That wasn’t the only reason the two shows felt different, and while I preferred the superior sound and better behaved audience at Johnny Brenda’s, I appreciate the way Music Hall let these musicians who take up so much space in my heart have the physical space they needed to stretch out for the last show of their U.S. run.

Dressy Bessy was swell, too, with Tammy Ealom and John Hill’s amiable energy and melodic guitar riffs getting the night off to a strong start.

Highlights: Filthy Friends’ “Come Back Shelley,” “No Forgotten Son”; Dressy Bessy’s “Just Like Henry.”