Show Review

Paul F. P. Pogue

Lunar Event

Radio Radio

Saturday. Feb. 11

Derek Osgood and Gwynneth Hermann of Lunar Event

"You'll never hear that version of the song again!" Lunar Event keyboardist/vocalist Gwynneth Hermann said mischievously after the band's first song at Planned Parenthood's Safe Sex in the City event at Radio Radio. And that's true enough, as this marks Hermann's final performance with the group she co-founded nearly seven years ago.

This was goodbye but not for good; Lunar Event will go on, with Mike Shimmercore joining the lineup. But it's certainly going to be something different.

Vocalist/guitarist Derek Osgood called it a celebration of Hermann's years with Lunar Event, and that's as good a description as any: an hour of the sleek space-age trance rhythms that have always defined the band, driven by the syncopation of Osgood's anger-tinged alt-rock voice and Hermann's sleek vocals, reminiscent of later Debbie Harry. Guitarist Jonathan Harmon and drummer Drew Reed fill out the lineup, layering and thickening the sound to the point they sound like five players instead of two.

The tone was surprisingly playful: a farewell but not a funeral. Even lyrics you'd expect to be glum had a certain aura of hope to them: "Where do we go from here? No more pleasure, chasing treasure ... It could be that I'm the only one who knows I'm goin' down at any given time."

The whole thing had a faintly surreal atmosphere to it, particularly the videocam on a stick that just sort of floated around Hermann's head, like a concert on the Jetsons or Josie and the Pussycats in space or something.

It ended where it began six years ago, with Hermann and Osgood performing alone together on stage, playing three of their earliest songs, still just as raw and unpolished as they must have been in the beginning but with a certain confidence brought by years.