Swans – 2016-10-17 Hamburg

When 80’s new wave post-punkers Swans rose from their 13 years hibernation in 2010 it was quite a nice surprise for many of us. 4 albums and an equal number of tours later, the current incarnation of Swans are now approaching the end with their Glowing Man tour.


Swans shows are notably know for 3 things and at Kampnagel in Hamburg we got to experience all three elements:

  • Volume
    If there ever is a show where you can physically feel the music it will be orchestrated by Swans. The performance at Kampnagel were no exception. Despite wearing my high fidelity ear plugs, the volume during certain passages was literally painful and my ears spent all next day getting back to normal baseline.
  • Length
    2 hours and 45 minutes worth of music!
  • Heat
    Michael Gira of Swans is known to have previously turned off air-condition units at venues before performing in order to replicate a Native American sweat lodge conditions. I’m fairly certain he pulled that trick at the Kampnagel. The heat were intense, the air was thick with sweat and low in oxygen.


The set consisted of 6 songs, 3 of them from current album The Glowing Man, Screen Shot from their previous album, tour opener The Knot and a new number being premiered earlier this month, The Man Who Refused to Be Unhappy. Take a listen to this new piece below:


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