Fri 11 Jun – Great Lake Swimmers


24 jun 2010, 15:54

Fri 11 Jun – Great Lake Swimmers

The Great Lake Swimmers are a band I was slow to warm up to, but I like them more with every release, and I like their old albums more every time I listen to them. Based on the live recordings I'd heard before this show, they also sounded pretty great in performance, so I was really looking forward to seeing them in Ann Arbor. Unfortunately, the folks at the border crossing were not looking forward to letting me! As if the abnormally long line to get through wasn't enough, my dear wife also needed to renew her visa waiver and the line for that was something else. There were so many people waiting that we were forced to stay in the car, which, due to the insane heat was quickly overheating. Thus, air conditioning was not an option, and this, combined with heat radiating off the pavement and from the running vehicles all around us made for a very unpleasant experience. Which lasted almost two hours. By the time we finished another 30-45 minute wait inside the mercifully climate controlled building, the time printed on our tickets had already passed, and there was still a 45 minute drive to Ann Arbor to contend with.

We finally arrived at the venue around an hour after the show was supposed to start and walked in without anyone even looking at our tickets. There only appeared to be two seats left in the entire venue, and although the view was still slightly obscured by a pole, they were still pretty great. It turns out that The Ark is one of those "not a bad seat in the house" joints, the sort of which I strongly approve. When we first sat down, Tony, the lead singer of the GLS was playing some songs solo. I was hopeful that this was a warm-up set and the actual "show" per se had yet to start, but alas, I turned out to be wrong. Here is what we did see...ish:

Setlist (incomplete and possibly a little inaccurate)

Unsure (solo) - walked in partway through
This Is Not Like Home (solo; I think that's what it was - still pretty flustered at this point)
Where In The World Are You Now (solo)
She Comes To Me In Dreams
Concrete Heart
Everything Is Moving So Fast
I Am Part Of A Large Family

Pulling On A Line
See You On The Moon!
Song For The Angels

Thankfully, in spite of our lateness, they still played some of my favourite songs, and played them very well to boot. The GLS sound is generally a little more upbeat and "rock"-oriented live, and it came off well. Plus they had a violinist, and that's always a bonus - her rock (er...classic?) out during I Am Part Of A Large Family was pretty awesome. I was utterly amazed when, during the encore, the band actually took a request for See You On The Moon!, which, in spite of the fact is a song geared toward children, is one of my favourites of their oeuvre. It's just really, really catchy and fun. It also allowed for some crowd participation with animal and tool noises, which made it extra special. Overall, the only song I really, really missed was Your Rocky Spine, and I figure they'll probably play that if (and when) I see them again. Given what happened this time, I have a fine excuse to buy tickets for their next tour! Not that I would need one, really, as they are pretty darn swell.


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