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Schuba's, Chicago, IL
Saturday, 10 October 1998
with godspeed you black emperor!

Review #1 | Review #2 | Review #3

Had to wait in line outside the club b/c one of the bands arrived late (so i heard...). A decent number of people left the line before they started letting people in--about an hour after the scheduled start time of the show. While waiting in line, I got to hear the people behind me describe in painstaking detail an episode of Mr. Show (very funny sketch comedy show on HBO) which they had seen the night before. HBO ran a marathon of all the first ten episodes, and I forgot to tape it, and I wasnt really interested in hearing about it from them (lucky non-forgetful bastards!). Plus, these guys got in line behind me just mere seconds before a group of lovely young ladies got in line, putting them too far back to casually strike up a converstation. Oh well...

I had heard that Schubas was the best sounding club in Chicago (I just moved here), so I was especially looking forward to seeing Low play there. Godspeed, You Black Emporer! had very good sound and not too much noise from the audience, so it looked promising (BTW, I agree with everyone who's said that GYBE is quite good. Im not sure I'd run out to get their CD, but it was very cool live). However, Low wasn't quite so lucky sound-wise. They had many feedback problems, level problems, etc. I'd say Mimi was probably not at her best vocally (but she wasnt bad). Plus Alan managed to knock over his guitar mic during one song. But all in all it was an enjoyable show.

- Lord, Can You Hear Me?
- Starfire
- Condescend
- Words
- Will the Night
- Lion/Lamb
- (couldnt identify*)
- Lazy
- Waltz (French Canadian version)

*it included such lines as "kneel and unwind"(?), "...around the room"(several times), and the last lines were "and the light, it burns your eyes / In a language you dont understand" (*Note: This is "Two Step"*)

The French Connection? They played Waltz and when they got to the delay part at the end, all nine (I think) members of GYBE joined them (GYBE hails from Canada, presumably the French Canadian section). They slowly joined in one at a time. For a while I couldnt hear what the joiners were doing, and the song kind of dragged. After a few more joined in, I could hear some embellishments and it was good, but then the sound started getting screwy (things were cutting in and out and Zak's bass was super boomy). Finally, as the final member, the cello player, was getting ready to play, it started to really come together. They stayed on the chord progression for Waltz for a good while and did a long GYBEesque crescendo, then they came back down and moved into some new stuff chordwise. In the process, it got much prettier as well. As it quieted down, members started to leave the stage. The last folks playing were the cello and violin (which I couldnt hear as well as I'd have liked), Al, a GYBE bassplayer, and one of their drummers, who had gone from xylophone to cymbal-and-snare, and was now back on xylophone. (Mimi was also there, but she seemed fairly disinterested in the whole affair. Of course, I guess she kind of gives off that vibe anyway...) Anyway, it was a nice ending. The whole thing (Waltz) was quite long. I taped the show on my crappy little Radio Shack handheld tape recorder. I started taping with "Starfire" (since "Lord..." had too many audio problems to be worth keeping) and my 45 minute tape side ran out in the middle of the Waltz jam (right at about the point where it started to be good).

Spoke with Al briefly after the show. Although he had seemed pretty peeved about the audio difficulties as they happened, he was very nice. They werent selling anything, so no Random Acts for me.

Oh yeah, Lazy was an audience request. Also, Al tacked on a little outro onto it that was unfamiliar to me (but I've only heard the original once or twice, so maybe I just forgot). It ended with the line "You can't use words like that / St. Louise is listening." -- or at least I think that's it. (**Note from the webmistress: This is from Soul Coughing's song "St. Louise is Listening", from their 1998 album EL OSO, which thanks Low in the liner notes.**)

todd gerth

first of all, sorry i didn't get to meet anybody last night...i waited two hours in line b/c GYBE!'s van broke down and they had to get it towed to Schubas...they arrived about 15 minutes before doors were supposed to open, and a nine-piece band takes a hell of a long time to sound check, so subsequently the line fiasco and i was plum tuckered out to schmooze through the crowd...i was sitting by the camera with mike from bluesanct...a friend of ours was filming GYBE! and low.

GYBE! was great considering what they had just gone through...their last chicago show was better, but they still rocked the house last night...

Low apparently had a guy doing sound who'd never done it before, thus the feedback, silence and crappy sound that plagued their set...it definitely was not the best i've seen low play, but it was still low, i mean come on...the thing at the end with GYBE! was good, however because of the crappy sound it could have been much much much better...and at one point i just got bored and thought "come on guys, enough's enough" and i think zak realized too cuz he walked off stage...it was kinda funny watching 12 people seach for space on a relatively small stage while still playing.

schubas is a really good club and i hope low lays there again..i don't blame them for the long wait or the sound problems (though a bunch of people in the crowd sure did)...i hope to meet you guys next time low's in town (which is pretty much the only time i ever leave my abode).

keith mtam. (Keith M. Murphy)

i was sitting way up front in the first booth on the street side of the room with some friends. We got there pretty early and yes the wait was terrible.

Todd's show review was fairly harsh, but i guess still correct.

God Speed was indeed very good and i did go out & pick up the CD. it "rocks" a bit less than their live persona, but i am happy to have it. they sure can kick some ass on stage when they get going.

i talked to Alan & Mimi for a few minutes while God Speed were still setting up & they said that 2 or 3 weeks of being on the road would be preferred rather than a month or more at a time.

as others have said, the French Canadian version of Waltz was indeed great, but was difficult to pull off on Schuba's small stage. and with the audio problems, it was continually interrupting my LOW induced altered mental state.

when i talked to them after the show i didnt get the scents that the sound problems really troubled them that much. I think they were just happy to be going home soon. and since they play in Chicago often, their fan base seems very loyal & understanding. other than that, everything else i tlaked to them about has already been said by some-one else on the list. (break-up rumors, etc.)

I think some one should ask them when they'll be starting the family thing !!! I keep expecting to see Mimi in a maturinty top at one of these shows, but...... i guess it's just not the right time yet. !

I did spend some time with Doug & Seth from Darling. it seems that they were to play with LOW in St.Louis on Fri, but it did not materialize. So they drove up to Chicago to see them play on Sat. They are having some problems with their label (i guess this is a common complaint) and Doug seemed kinda depressed about not getting gigs or any kind of support from the label. I got a copy of their "Night in Bloom" CD and like it very much. They certainly have great recommendations from Mimi, Alan & Zak. Also, .... they are interested in any feedback they can get, so e-them with your thoughts, opinions or whatever. They are still quite young and are really just getting their feet wet in the biz. I like their sound and they have a good future ahead of them if they can make it through the initiation.

Has anyone else heard the influence of "The Alan Parson's Project" in "God Speed...." ? maybe it's just me,


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