The Roxy, Boston, USA (May 12, 2000)
When I heard that Wire—all four original members—was back together and touring, I had to go. (After all, I named my 'zine after the band... for no real reason other than I liked the sound of it.)
The opening band (whose name I can't remember) was Clint Conley's (from Mission of Burma) new act. He had fellow ex-MoB Peter Prescott on drums, and Roger Miller even joined in on keyboards for a couple songs to complete the semi-reunion. The music was different-yet-similar to Mission of Burma (as you'd expect)—overall pretty enjoyable, except for one song which went on for quite some time while some guy read something from a book, and we couldn't hear a word he said.
Wire didn't use any keyboards, which were a large part of the second phase of their career. Instead, they opted for the simpler guitar-bass-drums model, which worked quite well, even on the songs originally done with more keys. I wasn't surprised by the set list, only because I had seen similar ones from reviews on Wireviews. However, I would've been slightly shocked to hear some of the really old material played, including several from their first album, 1977's Pink Flag.
They looked older (especially Bruce Gilbert, who brought to mind the term 'grandfather'), but still sounded excellent. Highlights of their rather short one-hour set included Pink Flag, Silk Skin Paws, Lowdown, Advantage in Height, and a couple new songs (one of which was rather good). The encore was a rocking 12XU (which would've been really weird—a bunch of old guys punking out—if they didn't actually write the song) and a ten-minute mostly-instrumental version of Drill.
Kieran Chapman (eWire)