Posted in music | pictures on September 28, 2011

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

"Swans at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The most punishingly hot and loud show I've been to for a while. But pleasurably so, and they have a shirtless drummer named Thor. My brain is now a soft scrambled egg. Good night!" -snackish

"Watching the drummer from cop shoot cop be awesome w the swans reminds me how much I want a cop shoot cop reunion." -sethcdiamond

Swans

The Aquarian: You already recorded part of the new album in Berlin?

Michael Gira: We recorded the songs that we're playing live in Berlin, and also a portion of one that is built up from my guitar, my acoustic guitar. Now we have, at the end of this month's tour, we have another five days here in Upstate New York, we're going to record a bunch of new songs that I have written, and just build them up from the bottom up.

The album's going to be sprawling. I don't even know if you can call it an album--it's just a collection of music happening at the time. It can't be contained on vinyl, almost. It'd be like a six-vinyl set or something (laughs). So, I don't know how it's gonna be available, but we're just gonna do it and put it out later.

The legendary Swans returned to NYC at Music Hall of Williamsburg last night (9/27) as part of a pair of NYC dates with Sir Richard Bishop at the Brooklyn venue. The band do it again TONIGHT with the amazing addition of Wovenhand to the bill. Tickets are still available. Swans will ALSO be at ATP New Jersey (who recently added Edan and announced set times) this weekend.

More pictures from last night are below...

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Comments (52)

Great pics as always, Dana

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 1:51 PM

setlist?? thinking about going tonight. this looks awesome.

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 1:54 PM

goodness i'm still sooooo good looking !!!

Posted by ME | September 28, 2011 2:09 PM

Great pics...setlist, anyone?

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 2:11 PM

only older song was 'i crawled'. songs from last record were 'no words/no thoughts', 'jim', 'eden prison' and 'little mouth'.

set was 2.5 hours. there were about 15 nearly identical crescendos that got old pretty quickly. even as a long time swans fan, i was a bit impatient at times.

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 2:18 PM

No Words/No Thoughts
Jim
Apostate? (New song)
either one or two other new songs
I Crawled
Eden Prison

Little Mouth

so about 7 or 8 songs stretched over 2.5 hours. Good stuff. WAY louder than the masonic show a year or so back

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 2:26 PM

it wasn't louder. you are a year or so older.

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 2:32 PM

2.5 hours?!?!?! Some of us have BABIES to feed.

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 2:41 PM

Swans played from 10:30pm to 1:00am in Chicago. I almost missed the last train home, but it was well worth it.

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 2:44 PM

i can't believe people are coming to swans show without ear plugs! i never use plugs but for a swans show? it's like not to know music and its history. read wikipedia people, that's what for it was invented.

legend has it that in brussels circa 84-85 people were bleeding through their ears while exit doors were locked...

although the sweat shop, thanks for the band and bowery people for making it the most spacious sold out show in history!

Posted by ME | September 28, 2011 2:49 PM

Love this band and its legacy but what I would give to hear some old stuff like COP at a Swans show these days.

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 2:49 PM

It was really around 2 hours if you don't count that loooong intro.


Hottest... show..... EVAH!!!
If Swans gave you volume in the 80's, they gave you the heatwave now!

That being said, give these guys an A for effort. Made sure I stayed until the end, and it was worth it. Have fun tonight everyone!

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 2:52 PM

such an incredible show...it was so spacious because all the hipsters were leaving half way through the show...

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 2:56 PM

The bar staff were saying the reason it was so fucking hot in MHoW is because Gira insisted they turn off the A/C

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 2:57 PM

@ME, 2:49 - Do you know Gira doesn't wear ear plus?

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 3:00 PM

The fat girl looks content!

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 3:01 PM

high intensity show, massive, all brute force, i kept wanting to leave, but they'd start another tune with a great riff and i had to stay... mike had words with Thor about something and yelled go get it at the bass player, he returned for with a jews harp for an end of tune solo... this show was much better than the masonic show, two and a half hours, punishing... the band gave it all they had, but michael kept driving them, awesome band...

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 3:02 PM

The a/c fucks with his voice apparently. It was a great show, but I would have rather heard the old Children Of God songs they did last time rather than the new song they played before I Crawled.

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 3:15 PM

2:57: If that's true, it explains a lot then.


Did Gira come out and sign/chat afterwards?

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 3:25 PM

and if that's true, they should only be allowed to play outdoors. i love swans but not your f'ing b.o. you know who you are.

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 3:31 PM

That's Thor from Shearwater! He's an amazing drummer!

Posted by Jeremy | September 28, 2011 3:32 PM

facts about Swans shows..

1 - Gira ALWAYS insists that the A/C is turned off due to how it effects his vocals

2 - Gira usually will come out afterward for meet and greet

3 - THEY ALWAYS RULE!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 3:33 PM

I love when people start commenting about the heat/AC?gira not wanting it on or the loudness or length of shows as if they didn't play last year and all the other years people have seen them.

Thanks for all the enlightenment you dopes. WE KNOW!

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 3:45 PM

2 openers tonight - set times?

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 4:05 PM

They always play without AC. This was nothing new. Really happy I got new high attenuation earplugs. I've been going to shows for more than 20 years and still have perfect hearing. I want to keep it that way.

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 4:17 PM

Breaking news! Science has discovered a brand new form of douche: people who believe they are superior for knowing the reasoning behind the A/C being turned off at Swans shows.

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 4:28 PM

i hope 4:17 also remembered his buttplugs.

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 4:37 PM

also breaking news: swans not playing "old stuff"

This has been going on since the beginning of the band. They usually played the current album and stuff that hadn't been recorded yet. again, nothing new

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 4:38 PM

@438 - Well, they played Sex, God, Sex and Beautiful Child last year and they played I Crawled last night. People being assholes - again, nothing new.

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 5:03 PM

Anyone know what set times are?

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 6:24 PM

According to the box office, the set times tonight are:
9:00 PM Wovenhand
10:00 PM Sir Richard Bishop
11:00 PM Swans

If you call the Mercury Lounge, they usually know the set times for all the Bowery shows and they're pretty nice about telling you.

Saw last night's show and it was really, really fucking great so I'm going again tonight after work (why I called for set times).

Definitely loud and louder than The Masonic Show from last year. Because nobody asked and I have an inflated sense of self worth, I feel the need to mention that the five loudest shows I've ever seen were:
Lightning Bolt @ Chester Fest W'burg block party '02?
Boris @ North Six for Pink
Celibate Rifles @ Revival Philly '88?
My Bloody Valentine @ Kutcher's ATP '08
Glen Branca @ The Kitchen '93 (Symphonies 8 & 10?)

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 8:29 PM

8:29, nice list. I feel compelled to add my personal loudest, dinosaur jr at Soma in San Diego, maybe 1994.

Posted by mike | September 28, 2011 9:09 PM

earplugs are for pussies

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 9:24 PM

Soulslinger DJing at Twilo was some serious volume.

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 10:32 PM

My bloody valentine at the Ritz in 92 was insanely loud. Godlesh at Wetlands. Ministry on the second Lollapalooza tour. They were measured near 140 decibels. It was fucking awe inspiring. Any Neurosis show. And, believe it or not, a Sugar show at Roseland.

Posted by Anonymous | September 29, 2011 12:25 AM

loud shows... nobody mentioned Sunn O))) @ masonic temple?

Posted by Anonymous | September 29, 2011 10:19 AM

^ Exactly.

Some of these "loudest shows" that people mention leave me scratching my head.

Swans are not in the 80's anymore. The shows are still intense and slightly louder than your usual show, but why are people still trying to make it sound like werr back in 1986?

Posted by Anonymous | September 29, 2011 11:37 AM

saw sunn o))) at the old knitting factory THAT was loud...

Posted by Anonymous | September 29, 2011 11:53 AM

None of these bands' volume can even come close to the time I was driving down the highway, doin' 84, Johnny let out a gasser and it blew me out the door! The wheels started shaking, The engine . . . it fell apart! All because of Johnny's Supersonic fart.

Try to top that one!

Posted by Anonymous | September 29, 2011 12:25 PM

I saw MBV in Glasgow, Scotland, their second reunion show in '08. THAT WAS EFFIN LOUD

Posted by Anonymous | September 29, 2011 1:00 PM

Gira scolded his band members live on stage, pretty funny stuff. He was legitimately pissed off at them for messing up part of a song.

Posted by FILTH | September 29, 2011 2:39 PM

Wow, yes, MBV at the Ritz with Pavement opening... I remember that one as loud as well. Ahhh memories...

Posted by MT | September 29, 2011 3:42 PM

Was the guy with the chewing gum tweaking or what?

Posted by MT | September 29, 2011 3:44 PM

2:39, did he yell at them on 9/28 as well? on the 27th, he screamed on Thor and Puleo, but Thor actually roared "Thor!!" back at him, which was pretty damned funny. a pedal started to go towards the end of one song which pissed him off again. then he called to do "avatar" which Pravica said he couldnt do as he didnt have his jews harp. gira told him to go fucking get it and he did. I the guy above who said he was driving the band was understating it, ive never seen anyone as drenched in sweat (with the exception of norm westberg, cool as a cucumber) and playing as hard as this band. I feel you all have been remiss in not mentioning Sir Richard Bishop, just phenomenal,even pulling out Space Prophet Dogon and a little charles boucher spoken word piece. What a fantastic show

Posted by Andrew | September 29, 2011 4:44 PM

not that it matters, but the AC was on last night; I was standing right in front of a vent above the bleachers. The bartender said it was broken the night before.

And I ditched the earplugs because the sound and experience were so much better without them. The show was amazing.

Posted by Anonymous | September 29, 2011 6:01 PM

I had never heard Sir Richard or Wovenhand before last night, and can I, some anon jerk on here, say . . . they were both incredible. I actually enjoyed their performances more then the Swans, who I though were much better at the Masonic Temple.

Posted by One Man | September 29, 2011 6:32 PM

What was Wovenhand's encore song?

Posted by k | September 30, 2011 5:26 AM

^he covered a Rasputina song that night, Signs of The Zodiac. Maybe that was it?

Posted by Anonymous | September 30, 2011 8:35 AM

butthole surfers at the world in nyc in 1990 was the loudest for me. swans were loud, but clear. distortion hurts

Posted by mdv | October 3, 2011 5:43 PM

Same intro as last year, yo! At least for NYC a change up
Was needed! How many times must Gira slaP himself? Great show last year, howeve after realizing, little new coming, left!
Yeah, we cut out! Sound sucked v. Bowery!! Energy was way off, baby punks, porn star wanna bes, black vamps, etc , passé!
Gira needs to be more like Laurie Anderson No 2 shows r ever the same! A year n the planet n the same show ! Wat up!
Old material was needed! Jarboe would have been way cool! She's been around, or any fill in female vocal! Whateve metal boyz n girls! Industrial Eh? No wave, yawn, total chaos power filled tightly performed
Of course! Needed some change up!
Never see a band on the same tour more than one time ! Even
Gira n co!
Next.......

Posted by Jimitits | October 6, 2011 1:12 AM

um.. i saw them twice in the same week (atp and tuesday's show) and both shows were mindblowing.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 10:49 PM

beautiful

Posted by tim | August 18, 2013 12:43 PM

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