Sunday, July 1, 2007

One more thing before I go

I once again underestimated how fast shows at Massey Hall start and how crap driving in Toronto is, so I settled into my seat when Low were part-way through "Take Your Time" (they only played a 45-minute set, so I think I missed one or two songs at worst). To make matters worse, Massey is a deeply shitty venue when you get stuck up on the second balcony, and Low were on the right side of the stage. As we were on the right, I could see Alan and sometimes Matt but only rarely Mimi's head. Matt (the new guy) acquitted himself ably, especially on what Alan announced as a WII-era chaplain's organ, which was definitely present on the album version of "Breaker." I don't care how crap my seats were, or how short the set, or the fact that I had to ask one guy behind us to shut up (he was gracious about it and I thanked him) - it was the highlight of my night. I realise a guy who writes a Low oeuvreblog isn't the least biased witness, but Jeff Tweedy of Wilco praised them on this, the last night of their Eastern Seaboard tour by saying that Low "played thrilling music every single night of the tour" and that they "kicked our ass every night." That's partly just graciousness, I know, but there was an element of truth. Certainly when I saw them it was true (it doesn't help that I hate Wilco's last album, although I do like Nels Cline).

After "Take Your Time," they played:

Point of Disgust
Cue the Strings
Violent Past

For a few songs they brought out the organ, and Nels Cline sat in on lap steel for "Murderer" and an even more incredible version of "Pissing" than I heard last time. Similarly, "Violent Past" and an organ-less "Breaker" were rocked the fuck up in a really interesting way (I'm a bit too tired to articulate exactly how, but "Breaker" especially showed that if they wanted to continue down the path of "Everybody's Song," they could). "Hatchet" was also much improved, given a kind of effortless poppy bounce that I wish they'd used on the album (as much as I loved the live "Breaker," and we do desperately need another Low live album, I do prefer the album version in that case), which makes for the third or maybe fourth version of that song I've heard, and if I wasn't getting up at 8 am tomorrow to start driving to BC I'd do an entry on it now.

As it is: Low is still incredible live. I can't wait for their next headlining show in Toronto. I'm out for a week and a bit, enjoy yourselves.


Michael said...

Awesome! Glad you saw them. I did as well. They played mostly that same set, although they also did "Over the Ocean". Check out my review of the new Wilco over at Popmatters. Not to try and convince you that it's great, but maybe just maybe? :)

Ian said...

Sorry, dude, it's a good review but I remain unconvinced. Sky Blue Sky is an album for fans of the band who are willing to put in the time (like R.E.M.'s Up, which I adore but am not surprised others don't), and I just don't land in that category, if I ever did.

"Either Way" is good though. I don't suppose you could hook me up with an MP3 of that one?