When Swans announced an additional leg of their final tour back in November 2016 it was a very pleasant surprise. Apparently, others thought so as well, as Voxhall was nicely filled (although nowhere near sold out) on the cold and dark Sunday evening that Swans once again took stage in Aarhus.
With omission of Cloud of Forgetting the setlist was identical to their setlist half a year earlier in Hamburg. But here the similarities end. Swans are known for their ability to evolve songs during their tours and this was a perfect demonstration of that. For example, the so-far unreleased track The Man Who Refused to Be Unhappy was very different from the 2016 leg performances of the song. Most notably the tempo was reduced with about 20 BMP in the Aarhus version. There were other differences as well, such as the addition of more predominant guitar during the later half of the songs. Lengthwise the Aarhus version was more than 3 minutes longer than the Hamburg version and overall it was had a much darker and cooler vibe than previously.
It was evident that the band members had gained a lot of experience from the long tour and they seemed even more orchestrated coordinated than earlier on the tour.
How do you transform a jazz orchestra into a post-rock ensemble?
According to local Aarhus Jazz Orchestra, you throw into the mix a Norwegian composer (Helge Sunde), a Seattle drummer (Jim Black) and an Icelandic bassist (Skúli Sverrisson). Announced as a unique project the collaboration kicked off their 4-stop mini-tour of winter jazz at Atlas, Aarhus.
Whether they succeeded in their mission of turning post-rock is up for debate, but the 18-man big collaboration definitely delivered enjoyable highlights. Listen to Skulí Sverrisson’s composition Weeping Rock below.
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:
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.
2 hours and 45 minutes worth of music!
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:
So yesterdays kick-off of Placebo’s 20 anniversary tour was quite.. interesting. Take a listen to the full show below.
Day after the show the band released the following official statement:
“We wish to sincerely apologise to all fans who attended the gig in Aarhus last night.
Brian suffered a severe and unexpected reaction to some new medication which meant he was unable to continue with the show.
We are saddened and extremely disappointed to let you down on the very first show of our tour. We will endeavour to reschedule the show at a later date but in the meantime tickets will be refundable from point of purchase.
Tonight’s Copenhagen show will go ahead as planned.”.
Hoping thew best for the band and to see them back in better shape!
On May 17 Sólstafir visited Hamburg as part of their 2016 Ótta with strigns and piano tour. Aside from paying 2014 album Ótta in it’s entirety, they also did some older tunes. One of them, Necrologue, had never been performed live previous to this tour:
Photo by http://lost-realist-photography.weebly.com.
Organized by cph:dox, GY!BE visited Christiania in Denmark for a two-part event consisting of a screening of 1976 Japanese movie, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and a concert. At Christiania’s cinema Byens Lys, Efrim Menuck introduced the film and elaborated on why he was was inspired by the movie to use the name for the band. Listen to Efrim’s intro below:
After the movie the band took stage at Den Graa Hal, providing one of the strongest performances I’ve yet to experience by GY!BE. Even within the current tour there was a clear (and unexpected!) improvement from their first concert in Hamburg half a year earlier.
Listen to the Christiania performance below:
1) ‘Hope Drone’
2) Lift Yr. Skinny Fists, Like Antennas to Heaven… [Storm]
3) Gathering Storm [Storm]
4) Peasantry or ‘Light! Inside of Light!’
5) Lambs’ Breath
6) Asunder, Sweet
7) Piss Crowns Are Trebled
8) Chart #3 [Static]
9) World Police and Friendly Fire [Static]
11) The Sad Mafioso [East Hastings]