Mar 9, 2016

Godspeed You! Black Emperor @ Spectrum Now Festival

Some bands play music. Some bands ARE music. Godspeed You! Black Emperor are such a band. Seeing them Tuesday night, as part of the Spectrum Now Festival,  for the third time (I never thought I would ever say this) I came away in awe. In awe of the sheer majesty and power of this Montreal collective. The epic beauty. The uncompromising approach to their craft. The non reliance on artificial aids. The ability to say something without using any vocals. They exist in their own world. But they touch many. They are unique. They are compelling. They are downright inspiring.

The drone starts and shakes the room. Slowly but surely band members fill the stage. Some sit, some stand. There are two drum kits, multiple guitars, a violin and a double bass. Real film is projected from the back of the room. 'Hope' it says behind the band. Other images would follow. Buildings, flowers, sheep and deer. Cityscapes and landscapes. There is next to no lighting. Songs build from nothing and explode to exquisite loudness. No one speaks. The music does. 'Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress' is heavily featured. 'Piss Crowns Are Trebled' shatters the space. 'Gathering Storm' is impossibly beautiful. A new song is played. 'Buildings'. Then they finish with the epic 'The Sad Mafioso'. I can feel the room imploding. I feel emotionally spent. But in a good way. There is NO ONE like this band.

Set List
Hope Drone
Gathering Storm
Peasantry or 'Light! Inside of Light!'
Lambs' Breath
Asunder, Sweet
Piss Crowns Are Trebled
New Song (Buildings)
The Sad Mafioso


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