Six albums and a decade into their career, The Raveonettes are still exploring the beauty of the dark.
At the Danish duo’s show at the Magic Stick Sunday night, the stage was, appropriately, bathed in darkness and smoke. Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo sang simple, pretty arrangements while turning up the fuzz on their guitars, creating ’50s B-movie pop songs underneath feedback-y Jesus and Mary Chain guitars. It’s the same formula the band has been perfecting for the last 10 years, and at this point they’ve got it down pat.
The Raves are currently on the third wave of their career. The first came with their 2003 debut, “Chain Gang of Love,” and the second wave hit with the band’s excellent 2007 album “Lust Lust Lust,” which sparked a renewed interest in the group. At this point the band is locked in its groove, not winning new fans but pleasing its base. The band has never cracked the top 100 on the Billboard charts, and at this point it probably won’t; its most recent album, “Observator,” debuted at No. 110. Save for an unlikely duet with Justin Bieber, breakthrough pop success will likely allude them.
But that’s fine. For 70 minutes Sunday night, the Raves were tight, moody, gorgeous and pitch black. They sound like the house band at the Roadhouse in Twin Peaks, either opening up for Julee Cruise or headlining after her, in the way they evoke images of motorcycles, doomed love, and romantic rides through the foggy night. In front of a crowd of about 250 fans, the band’s set showcased plenty of “Observator,” but was framed by two songs from “Lust Lust Lust”: “Hallucinations” opened the show, and the sterling, swirling “Aly Walk With Me” closed it out. Wagner and Foo were mostly quiet, save for a few “thank you’s,” and Foo played through a knock to her noggin that occurred when swapping out guitars with a crew member. She kept going and the Raveonettes played on, inside the darkness of their sound finding their own light.