Four guitars, one bass, one violin, two drums and TWO AND A HALF HOURS TO COVER SEVEN (!) SONGS…welcome to the darkfuzz of Godspeed You! Black Emperor live in Vancouver.
Sat on chairs, under the dull glow of a few grimy spotlights, saying nothing while looking intense, the eight-piece Montreal, Quebec band fiddled with effects peddles and knobs, and layered layers while and audience of hipsters nodded, eyes rolled back, to epic, soundtracky instrumentals.
I concede that seeing folks on stage creating a complex wall of sound can result in an intense gig-going experience for some. Hey, I’m a Mogwai fan.
But sometimes I think it’s more more impactful to stay in at home, pour something sticky into a snifter, smoke a bowl and conceive your next independent Buñuel–style art film, Sundance short or (‘cos it’s been done by GY!BE) music for something foreboding like 28 Days Later. In other words, sometimes music can stay home.
Godspeed, you give a good build and fuzzy flow, but I felt disappointed by your live presence. Imagery that should have been integral to the experience and given the music a real lift just wasn’t there… Background visuals of mostly B&W chicken-scratch graphics, shadowy tree branches etc, flitting over the screen reigned supreme, where something more human, narrative or colourful would have – IMHO – swooped the music from droney to epic. Sorry, chaps and violinist chappess, but I think you missed a trick there. \m/