Fri 25 Feb – Swans, Wooden Wand
Two weeks ago on Friday I saw the Swans at the Rickshaw Theatre. It was definitely one of the most intense shows I have ever been to. I realize that the Swans of now are nothing like what they were in the Cop / Young God era (in terms of utter brutality, anyways), but anyone in that audience could not deny the power that Gira & Co. had in that room.
While the majority of the songs were from their recent My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky LP, many of the songs were expanded in their live setting. From Norman Westberg’s feedback drenched guitar to Phil Puleo’s hard-hitting and repetitive drumming throughout the night, all the members contributed the the performance.
But overall, you knew that it was none other than Michael Gira who was the conducter, if you will. At times, you could see on his expression how he would ”command” the other musicians to perform harder, including the getting irritated at the sound guy (i.e. using the finger) for not turning up the monitors. One memorable part of the 2.5 hour long show they played was when during the middle of Sex, God, Sex (from their Children of God LP), Gira shouted like a preacher, repeating “Praise God! Praise Christ!” in front of the audience.
The openers, Wooden Wand, gave a solid if not standard performance, playing their psychedelic folk songs mostly from their last album on Young God Records, which also happened to be produced by Michael Gira.
The only problem for me, is that I was so caught up with the Swans’ performance that I didn’t even bother to post any pics from the show. Ah well.
Link to Original Review