David Fricke's Year in Rock 2017

Tom Petty's final tour, Phish's Bakers Dozen, the rebirth of the Dream Syndicate and other musical highlights from the year that was

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The Dream Syndicate
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Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images11/12

The Dream Syndicate

Bowery Ballroom, New York City, December 2nd; How Did I Find Myself Here? (Anti)

Reunions, 30 years on, are rarely as good as this: a founding unit of the early Eighties' so-called Paisley Underground in both vintage and evolving form on its best album since the first two (1982's The Days of Wine and Roses; 1984's Medicine Show) and in a live incarnation that does incandescent justice to the length of the canon. At the Bowery Ballroom, singer-guitarist-songwriter Steve Wynn fired his passions for Bob Dylan and Lou Reed through a psychedelic-California whirlwind; the veteran rhythm section of drummer Dennis Duck and bassist Mark Walton kept firm, brawling time; and guitarist Jason Victor, from Wynn's solo band the Miracle 3, evoked the feedback storms and tremolo-bar spasms of original guitarist Karl Precoda while leaving his own violent radiance on the extended-improv passages and twin-guitar dogfights in the new album's title track. Actually, "reunion" is the wrong word here. The Dream Syndicate are a great band reborn – and still headed out.

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