Entries tagged with: Low
Low @ Pitchfork Festival 2013 (more by James Richards IV)
During their fantastic set at Pitchfork Festival 2013, Low mixed things up by covering Rihanna's "Stay." They didn't make a big deal about it, and the original is a soft, piano-driven number, so you may not have even noticed. The trio have now recorded a proper version of the cover to help raise funds for Chicago's own Rock For Kids. Take a listen to the cover at the bottom of this post. You can purchase "Stay" via iTunes and all proceeds will go to RFK.
Low will be returning to Chicago later this month to perform at the annual 312 Urban Block Party on September 21. It'll take place right outside their brewery at the corner of Fulton and Wood from 4PM - 10PM. Disappears and Tokyo Police Club will also be performing, and tickets are on sale now.
A stream of Low's version of "Stay" can be found below...
Low / Belle & Sebastian
Phosphorescent / The Breeders / fans
On Saturday afternoon (7/20), it was back to Union Park for day two of the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival. As we discussed in our festival previews, yesterday was absolutely stacked as far as heavier offerings go. In sharp programming though, Julia Holter, Phosphorescent, Low, and Belle and Sebastian were all great inclusions on the lineup. Check out our pictures and reviews from day 1 of the festival, and continue reading on for a recap of day two.
The rain that cut Bjork's show short last night had a positive effect today in that it brought on much cooler temperatures for festival goers. Canadian punk favorites White Lung kicked things off on the Green Stage at 1:00PM and played a ferocious set that sparked a mini-mosh pit. Frontwoman Mish Way sneered and yowled into her mic while festival volunteers scrambled to keep the crowd cool by spraying water bottles on them. (A great thing if you're anticipating it, but quite strange if you hadn't been paying attention.) Near the end of their set, Way introduced a new song called "Blow it South," the band's ode to Florida. Before finishing things off the sassy punk rocker made an apology to the on-deck band in the form of "sorry who has to play next, I think I ruined the mic with lipstick." She didn't sound that sorry though. -MM
Unfortunately, Winnipeg's pummeling KEN mode were scheduled to play directly against White Lung on the Blue Stage. Luckily (and unsurprisingly), there wasn't a damn unfortunate aspect to their set. A small early crowd gathered to hear intense frontman Jesse Matthewson yell "NO- I'M IN CONTROL" at them. The three-piece, who sound much larger than that, exhibit such precision during their live shows. The really awesome thing is that unlike many precise outfits, KEN find a way to achieve that without coming off as robotic. -ZP
Sub Pop act Pissed Jeans played the very first set on the Red Stage a few minutes after White Lung wrapped up their performance. The band's guitarist spoke to the crowd first and joked that they would need at least another half an hour to get ready, but started their set three minutes later. Frontman Matt Korvette was probably the biggest character to set foot on any stage at today's festival. Bursting with energy, he grabbed the mic and laughingly said "Sorry if I'm a little excited but I just found out how much we're getting paid for this." After that he yelled "Get that Bjork money! / That Belle and Sebastian money!" and jockingly mentioned a few other big name musicians in a similar fashion. The band were intense, especially Korvette, who made his way across the stage like a rabid animal, knocking over his mic stand, and later shredding two t-shirts. Korvette screamed into his mic with such force that it appeared his vocal chords would snap at any moment. Near the end of their set, the band told the crowd that they had reached their career peak with today's performance and that it would be best to retire "and pursue other hobbies." At one point, I believe Korvette may have been channeling "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and ripped the stage clock off of the support structure. "Do you know what time it is?" he screamed, "It's 1PM, in case you didnt know." Though the sludge induced punk carnage may have left some people's ears ringing, the band's sense of humor and carefree attitude won even non-fans over. -MM
By the time Pissed Jeans were busy scrambling folks' brains over at the Red Stage, Los Angeles' Julia Holter was getting started at the Blue. Her output is enchanting and understated, but also hushed, which was maybe not the best choice to run against Korvette and co. Regardless, Holter seemed to make the best of the situation and played beautifully. She performed a bunch of songs from her forthcoming Loud City Song, as well as material from Ekstasis and Tragedy. After a bit of time in the shade spent with Ms. Holter, I headed back into the sun for Phosphorescent over at the Green Stage. -ZP
Phosphorescent really took me by surprise with the release of this year's Muchacho. I'd liked them prior to the album, but I've mostly just been thrilled that they were able to craft a new LP where every single song is great. Matthew Houck and co. were in top form yesterday afternoon too, providing a bit of solace from the heaviness of the day. Even though Houck sings of pain and anguish at times, the set was extremely feel-good and he seemed to be enjoying himself on stage as well. The biggest set highlight for me was the expertly-penned "Song for Zula." It's interesting in that it's more of an '80s take on what Phosphorescent have become so great at, but yeah, what a tune. -ZP
After Phosphorescent, I stuck around that side of the park waiting for ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead to take the Red Stage at 3:20PM. Trail of Dead just don't fuck around, and their Pitchfork Fest performance didn't stray from that notion. It's no-frills rock in the same way that Queens of the Stone Age are incredibly badass, and the large crowd they drew really ate it up. ToD was a nice precursor to the block of Savages / Metz / Swans that would soon follow. -ZP
Tampa Bay natives Merchandise returned to Chicago to play at the festival's shaded Blue Stage around 3:45PM. The band have an additional member this time around, Elsner Nino, who has permanently replaced the band's old drum machine. The addition of a live drummer did wonders for the band's overall sound, adding a louder, more organic style to their already tight post-punk songs. The outfit played a few songs from their most recent Totale Night EP but the highlight of the show for this writer was "In a Nightmare Room" from Children of Desire, a song that made Merchandise a personal favorite of mine last year. -MM
Female post punkers Savages were probably the most hyped band announced to be playing at Pitchfork Fest this year, and they absolutely did not disappoint. Not only did the band deliver, they even got nods of approval from Swans' Michael Gira, who mentioned them during his set later in the day. The ladies performed a tighter-than-tight set -- each member's contributions stood out but they performed in such unison with no overshadowing. Frontwoman Jehnny Beth looked slightly possessed while she swayed her hands in rhythmic motions, cocking her head back and forth in synch with the drums. -MM
I left Savages a bit early in order to get a great spot for Swans at the nearby Red Stage. (I also went to see Savages at Sound Opinions Live on Thursday.) "What's your favorite band?" has always been a very tough question for me, but over the past year I've just realized I love and want to listen to Swans more than anyone else. I am not a psychopath... I promise. Michael Gira are co. began their set with "new" song // recent live staple "To Be Kind." At times, it's often hard to be able to tell exactly what tune Swans are performing, and there's also a plethora of unreleased material they play on the regular. "Oxygen" is one of those, which came a bit later in the set. Gira bellows, "I steal all the oxygen" as he spins a tale of his own death and ascent to heaven. Basically, it rules. "Oxygen" is also fairly funky/psychedelic, a somewhat new territory for the outfit. I'd be quite satisfied if that's the direction things are heading on their planned next album. They also ripped out the 32-minute "The Seer" from 2012's excellent LP of the same name. Swans performed four-songs yesterday, including "Toussaint Louverture Song," whereas many other festival acts were able to hammer out roughly ten. -ZP
Fresh from announcing her departure from The Pixies, Kim Deal played Pitchfork Fest with her reunited Breeders as the original 1993 lineup. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the band's sophomore album Last Splash, they performed the album in its entirety to a crowd of excited and nostalgic fans. There were some minor technical difficulties at the start of the show with Deal's vocals being barely audible over the speakers, but the problem was quickly nipped. Deal was in good spirits as well, constantly talking up the crowd with some behind the scenes stories that included sampling a mini Moog. Now if Deal would just join up with The Pixies at Riot Fest... but I'm not holding my breath. -MM
Next up after The Breeders were Low, over at the Blue (best) Stage. In our festival preview, I spoke about the Duluth trio as maybe not being the most obvious choice for a festival act but that it would work out nicely. Well, I'd even go so far as to say their set yesterday was fantastic. The setlist was perfect -- quite a few numbers from this year's excellent The Invisible Way, "Monkey" and "Pissing" from The Great Destroyer, and "Stay" off of Long Division -- and it felt like one of those performances that stitches together all in attendance with an emotional bond. It was one of the best sets I've seen so far this weekend. -ZP
Soft spoken indie rockers Belle and Sebastian were a reprieve of sorts to festival goers who had spent the day seeing abrasive rock bands and the eardrum-shattering Swans set earlier in the afternoon (I forgot to bring earplugs...). A slight drizzle started around the band's fourth or fifth song but did not cut the show short like yesterday. Frontman Stuart Murdoch charmed audience members with his kind words, stating Chicago is much more relaxing than New York. Murdoch also engaged with audience members, inviting fans on stage, and even letting one fan draw on his face with mascara. Despite performing in a large festival setting during the headlining slot, the band managed to play one of the most intimate shows of the day. -MM
More pictures from day 2 below...
Pitchfork Festival 2012 (more by James Richards)
As mentioned, Chicago's Pitchfork Music Festival is returning to Union Park from July 19-21 with sets from Bjork, Joanna Newsom, Belle & Sebastian, R. Kelly, Solange, Rustie, Low, The Breeders, Swans, Savages, Merchandise, Julia Holter, KEN mode, White Lung, TNGHT, Evian Christ, Waxahatchee, El-P, Killer Mike, and more across three stages (Red, Blue, and Green). The set times for the festival have now been announced, and you can check out the full day-by-day schedule below.
3-day passes are sold out, but single day tickets are still available.
Dirty Projectors @ Pitchfork Festival 2012 (more by Chase Turner)
today in Chicago
* John Hodgman @ Park West
* David Cross @ The Chicago Theatre
* Pillowhammer, Bevel, Roommate @ Hideout
* Big Black Delta, Grades, Kid Color @ Schubas
* Jack Oblivian, Nones, The Sheiks @ Empty Bottle
* Falty DL, Bill Kouligas @ Pritzker Pavilion (Free Show)
* Dirty Projectors, Cross Record @ Lincoln Hall (Late Show)
* Josh Rouse, Field Report @ City Winery Chicago (Night 1)
* Dirty Projectors, Cross Record @ Lincoln Hall (Early Show)
* Post Honeymoon, The Pamphleteers, Yeyes @ The Burlington
* The Sky We Scrape, Droughts, Class Picture, Arrows In Her, Close Talker, Family Cat @ Township
Jack Oblivian, Nones, and The Sheiks play the Empty Bottle tonight.
Falty DL and Bill Kouligas play a free show at Pritzker Pavilion.
Dirty Projectors and Cross Record play two shows at Lincoln Hall tonight.
Josh Rouse and Field Report play their first of two shows at City Winery Chicago.
Low have a new video for "Plastic Cup." Check it out below.
Follow bvChicago on Instagram.
Marnie Stern @ BV-SXSW 2013 (more by Sarah Frankie Linder)
today in Chicago
* The Black Crowes @ the Vic
* Amy Lavere @ Red Line Tap
* Leagues, Tall Walker @ Schubas
* Shuggie Otis, Jesca Hoop @ Lincoln Hall
* Dr. John @ SPACE (Early & Late Shows)
* Chandeliers, Architecture @ The Burlington
* Lil Tits, The Wet, Lezurrection @ Wally World
* Beardyman, My Boy Elroy, Tony Trimm @ The Mid
* Marnie Stern, Roomrunner, Mayor Daley @ Empty Bottle
* Suicidal Tendencies, D.R.I., Wake The Dead @ House of Blues
* Reagan Youth, Dust Angel, Silver Abuse, The Mons @ Ultra Lounge
* Graham Parker and The Rumour, Danny Black @ City Winery Chicago
We're co-presenting Marnie Stern, Roomrunner, and Mayor Daley at the Empty Bottle tonight.
Leagues and Tall Walker play Schubas.
Beardyman headlines The Mid.
Shuggie Otis plays his second of two shows at Lincoln Hall.
Low have a new video for "Just Make It Stop" from their Jeff Tweedy-produced LP, The Invisible Way. Check it out below.
Follow bvChicago on Instagram.
Pitchfork Music Festival 2012 (more by James Richards IV)
As discussed, Pitchfork Music Festival 2013 is set to take place in Union Park from July 19-21. The festival's initial lineup featured R. Kelly, Björk, Belle & Sebastian, Joanna Newsom, the Breeders (playing Last Splash), Swans, Rustie, El-P, Chairlift, Killer Mike, TNGHT, Sky Ferreira, ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Mac DeMarco, Foxygen, Angel Olsen, Trash Talk, and Tree.
The remainder of the lineup has just been revealed, and includes M.I.A., Lil B, Solange, Wire, Yo La Tengo, Low, Savages, Toro Y Moi, Phosphorescent, Metz, Autre Ne Veut, Mikal Cronin, Parquet Courts, Merchandise, Woods, Julia Holter, Glass Candy, Andy Stott, Pissed Jeans, Frankie Rose, Ryan Hemsworth, Waxahatchee, Blood Orange, Daughn Gibson, Evian Christ, White Lung, KEN Mode, and DJ Rashad.
Three-day passes and single-day tickets are still available.
Check out the full lineup-by-day below...
photos by Zach Pollack
Low at Metro on 3.22.2013
On Friday night (3/22), Duluth, Minnesota's Low came through Chicago for a performance at Metro with local opener Geoff Farina (formerly of Karate). Much like their intimate in-store at Saki Records earlier this month, the trio played many songs from new, Jeff Tweedy-produced album The Invisible Way. Guitarist Alan Sparhawk had an appropriately gritty, commanding tone when needed, which made their already great songs that much more exciting live, and he also made sure to take a backseat to bandmates Mimi Parker and Steve Garrington. A set of pictures from their 3/22 show at Metro are in this post. More below...
photos by Kirstie Shanley
Low at Saki Records on 3.07.2013
Last night (Thursday, March 7), Duluth, Minnesota's great Low journeyed to Chicago to performed stripped down selections from their forthcoming, Jeff Tweedy-produced LP The Invisible Way, and to hold a moderated Q&A session with the producer. Saki's a great sounding room and "stripped down" was a funny thing to see listed for the event, as Low came off as full as ever. The trio mixed it up a bit throughout their short set, but we got to hear many brand new songs. The Q&A with Tweedy was full of wit and charm, especially from guitarist Alan Sparhawk. On accepting the term slowcore, which Sparhawk stated was coined by a friend of his after one of their first shows, he quipped, "It's kinda nice, because in one word you know if it's like Motörhead or not." Tweedy was quite the comedian himself, but in all seriousness, they touched on how much of a pleasure it was to work on this album together.
Low will be back in Chicago on March 22 to headline Metro with support from Geoff Farina. Advance tickets are still available. More pictures from their in-store // Q&A session at Saki last night are below...
Jeff Tweedy @ A.V. Fest/Hideout Block Party, September 2012 (more by Sara Pieper)
Chicago high school Northside College Prep are currently holding an online auction to help raise money for school programs. They've got over 200-items up for grabs, including an eight-hour recording session with Northside parent Jeff Tweedy at the Wilco Loft. It'll be tracked by a staff engineer and supervised by Tweedy himself, who will help you produce, arrange, and may even play on your tune if you need him to. Bidding is up to $20,250.00(!) as of this post.
As discussed, Jeff Tweedy will participate in a Q&A session with Low at Saki Records on Thursday night (3/7). They'll be talking about the group's forthcoming album, The Invisible Way, which was produced and tracked by Tweedy at the Wilco Loft. Low will also be performing stripped down selections from the LP. The event kicks off at 7PM and is open to the public.
Low @ Pritzker Pavilion in 2011 (more by Grant MacAllister)
As part of the ongoing City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events series Off the Record, Low will be performing stripped down selections from their forthcoming album, The Invisible Way (out 3/19 via Sub Pop), on March 7 at Saki Records. The event will kick off at 7PM, and features a Q&A session with the band and The Invisible Way producer Jeff Tweedy. Admission is free and open to all ages, but space is limited, so we suggest that you plan on getting to Saki early.
As discussed, Low will be embarking on an international tour in support of The Invisible Way this spring. That tour includes a performance at Metro on March 22 with Geoff Farina, and advance tickets are still available.
All Low tour dates and a few song streams from The Invisible Way are below...
The photo above appeared on Wilco's Facebook along with the caption, "New Neve console up and ready to make magic at the Loft. Well, not new -- just new to us." Their latest album, The Whole Love, hit stores in September of 2011, so it's possible that they could be putting something together for release later this year. Both Low's forthcoming The Invisible Way and Mavis Staples' yet-untitled new LP have been tracked at The Loft.
Wilco's video for "Dawned On Me" is below...
Low @ The Chicago Theatre, April 2012 (more by Grant MacAllister)
Low have shared the lead single from their forthcoming, Jeff Tweedy-produced LP, The Invisible Way. It's called "Make It Stop" and you can take a listen at the bottom of this post. The trio have also shared their 2013 tour schedule, which includes a short North American leg. They'll visit Chicago as part of that North American tour, for a performance at Metro on March 22. Geoff Farina will open the show, and tickets go on sale this Friday (1/11) at noon CST. All dates are listed below.
All known Low tour dates and a stream of "Make It Stop" are below...
Retribution Gospel Choir @ Schubas in May (more by Grant MacAllister)
Retribution Gospel Choir, the side project of Low members Alan Sparhawk and Steve Garrington, are gearing up for the release of their third full length album, called 3... of course, due out on January 22 via Chaperone Records. A self-induced Q&A with Mr. Sparhawk explains things pretty well:
Q: How do you follow-up a four-song 7"?Retribution Gospel Choir will be touring the US in support of 3 this winter. That tour includes a February 9 performance at Schubas - where they played when they were last in town. Tickets go on sale TODAY at noon CST. All RGC tour dates are listed below.
A: With a two-song full-length.
One song per side, this radio-format-challenged record will come out January 22, 2013 on Chaperone Records. Side A "Can't Walk Out" is the crown jewel of recent RGC live shows with it's repetitive, building, almost free, freakout - so far, probably the most accurate recording of what the band brings to the stage. Side B "Seven" sees the more sprawling side of the band - haunting, epic, and enhanced throughout by guest guitarist Nels Cline. These songs were tracked live, playing together in the same room, one take each.
A friend of mine used to play Frank Zappa's "Uncle Meat" at 16 rpm all the time. How do you recover from that?
stay warm - Alan Sparhawk
In related news, Low are also releasing a new album in 2013. The Jeff Tweedy-produced LP will be arriving on March 19, and marks Low's 20th anniversary as an outfit. You can check out a trailer for that album at the bottom of this post.
All RGC tour dates and a trailer for Low's 10th LP are below...
photos by Grant MacAllister
Low @ Chicago Theater
We already talked about the first of two shows Death Cab & Low played at the Chicago Theatre. Here's a slightly belated set from night two (4/17). More below...
photos by Grant MacAllister
Death Cab For Cutie @ The Chicago Theatre on 4/16/2012
The idea of modern rock bands coupling with a string section is no longer innovative. From Elvis Costello to Metallica, veteran artists continue to re-arrange older material to accommodate symphonic fanfare. Richly textured and prone to swelling flourishes, Death Cab For Cutie's fare makes a better candidate for the match than most. The one-off tour might also owe to leader Ben Gibbard's recent life changes -- and desire for the alterations in scenery that grace many of his narratives. Late last year, he and actress Zooey Deschanel announced an impending divorce after a brief marriage.On Monday night (April 16), Death Cab For Cutie, accompanied by the Magik*Magik Orchestra, brought their current tour with Low to The Chicago Theatre for the first show of a two-night stand at the venue. Continue on for more pictures and the setlist from Monday night...
Yet if Gibbard suffers from sorrowful regret, he didn't show it. Continually transferring his weight from one side of his body to the other as he sang and strummed guitar, the talkative frontman reserved any melancholy emotions for his glass-half-empty protagonists that craved self-awareness, improved circumstances and close relationships. "Can you tell me why you have been so sad?" Gibbard queried during the refrain to "Death of an Interior Decorator," the downcast sentiment at odds with the song's peppy tempo and sweeping highs. The limber "You Are a Tourist," shimmering "What Sarah Said" and deep-grooved "Soul Meets Body" also benefited from the accompaniment contrasts. [Chicago Tribune]
Death Cab For Cutie in Brooklyn in August (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Last night (Sunday, April 15), Death Cab For Cutie and the Magik*Magik Orchestra brought their current tour with Low to Milwaukee's Riverside Theater. Take a peak at Death Cab's setlist from last night, featuring older cuts like "Title and Registration," "Tiny Vessels," and "Transatlanticism."
Death Cab's full setlist from the Milwaukee show and all 2012 tour dates, below...
Low @ Jay Pritzker Pavilion in June (more by Grant MacAllister)
As mentioned, Low are heading out on tour this spring across North America with Death Cab For Cutie (backed by the Magik*Magik Orchestra). The tour hits Chicago on April 16 and spends two nights in a row at The Chicago Theatre. Tickets for the first night are sold out. Tickets for the second night are still available and we've also got a pair to give away! Details on how to enter to win them can be found below.
Though Low have been semi-quiet lately, frontman Alan Sparhawk has been keeping busy with his other project The Retribution Gospel Choir. RGC released a free EP, dubbed The Revolution, back in February via Sub Pop. The Revolution is now available in physical formats as well. You can catch Alan and co. when they visit Schubas on May 3. Tickets are still available.
All 2012 tour dates, some videos, and contest details, below..
Retribution Gospel Choir featuring Low frontman Alan Sparhawk, have just released a new EP dubbed The Revolution. You can download the album via a widget below, but you have to forfeit your email address in order to do so. RGC have announced a short string of North American dates, which includes a May 3 performance at Schubas. Tickets go on sale this Friday (March 2), at noon CST.
All RGC and Low dates, plus The Revolution EP, below..
DCFC @ Williamsburg Waterfront in August (BKLYN) (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
As mentioned, Death Cab For Cutie (featuring the Magik*Magik Orchestra) and Low are playing The Chicago Theatre on April 16th. A JAM Productions presale went live at 10AM TODAY and will be active until 10PM TONIGHT. Password: magik .
A second night (April 17th) has now been added. This one does not have a presale, though general tickets for both nights go on sale tomorrow (2/4), at 10AM CST.
Death Cab at Williamsburg Waterfront in 2011 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Baby Teeth, Outer Minds, and Bobby Conn are playing Schubas on March 2nd.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow (2/3), at noon CST.
Lower Dens are playing Subterranean on March 8th.
Tickets go on sale this Saturday (2/4), at noon CST.
Astronautalis and Bus Driver are playing Schubas on March 11th.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow, at noon CST.
Andrew Jackson Jihad, Laura Stevenson & The Cans, and Roar are playing Subterranean on March 18th. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, at 10AM CST.
Hunx And His Punx and Heavy Cream are playing the Double Door on March 29th.
Tickets go on sale this Satuday, at noon CST.
Caveman are playing Schubas on April 12th.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow, at noon CST.
Death Cab For Cutie (featuring The Magik*Magik Orchestra) and Low are playing the Chicago Theatre on April 16th. Presale tickets will be available starting at 10AM tomorrow (2/3). Password: magik . Tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday, at 10AM CST.
Fountains of Wayne are playing the Double Door on April 27th.
Tickets go on sale this Saturday, at noon CST.
Justin Townes Earle and Tristen are playing Park West on May 10th.
Tickets go on sale this Satuday, at 10AM CST.
Bachelorette @ Bowery Ballroom in May (more by Diana Wong)
Bachelorette (aka Annabel Alpers) has quite a busy September ahead of her. The New Zealand-based musician will come stateside for a string of dates, including a short run supporting Low, a performance at the 2011 Pygmalion Music Festival, and then a Chicago one-off at Empty Bottle.
Her third, and self-titled LP came out on May 16th via Drag City Records. Listen to a song:
Bachelorette - "Blanket"
Tickets for her Empty Bottle show with NewVillager on September 23rd are still available. You can view all 2011 tour dates below..
The June 30th Downtown Sound event, featuring Low at Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavillion opened with the solo performance of Irish folk singer-songwriter Glen Hansard (The Frames, The Swell Season). Hansard masterfully flowed between dynamic levels with his steel string guitar, which had a chunk missing just under the sound hole. A highlight of the performance was a Van Morrison cover, which happened to be the first song he ever learned to play.
His goal when he picked up the guitar was to sing to people he didn't know, and a teacher of his told him to start at the bottom, so he began busking. Hansard yelled and strummed his guitar with the timbre, speed, and consistency of a machine gun. He hilariously added fuzz distortion to the acoustic guitar during the bridge, increasing the gain until it blurred into note-less chaos for one measure, resolving back to beautifully clean acoustic guitar. He ended the Van Morrison cover with a heavy doom riff that sounded straight out of Sleep's 53-minute epic "Jerusalem," then humorously proclaimed, "The spirit of the Lord is in the house!" like a southern preacher. He toned it down to play "Lucia," a song about a failing relationship in which he says, "Your heart's not in it, babe." Hansard's last song was written for a friend of his, and he dedicated to anyone in a struggle, singing, "We're going to make it across this river of life."
Low took the stage in all black, with the exception of keyboardist's red sunglasses- they later mentioned that they attempted to match their attire to the predicted severe weather, but it ended up pleasantly sunny. The band took up very little room on the stage- even the drums were a stripped down set made of a floor tom, snare, ride, and sizzle cymbal. Mimi Parker played standing up with a felt mallet and a brush, never exerting too much energy. They opened with the soothing "I'm Nothing but Heart" from their 2011 LP, C'Mon. "Nightingale" had a soft Latin blues vibe reminiscent of moments on the past two albums by The Black Keys, with a slow vibrato guitar pulse. "You See Everything" took the energy from relaxing to engaging during the build of the last chorus. They also played "Monkey," which Robert Plant recently covered on Band of Joy, and "Witches."
The band barely moved their bodies through the majority of the performance; the vocalists focused on producing clear vocals, while the bassist and keyboardist played with perfect simplicity. Mimi Parker's percussion on "Cry me a River" was nearly silent, making Alan Sparhawk's vocals even more powerful. Certain songs would have been better suited for stormy weather, particularly "Majesty/Magic" and "Sunflower," but it was a phenomenal performance. After they stepped to the side of the stage at the end of the set, Sparhawk said, "Encores are a perverse tradition," and they sang "When I Go Deaf" with the most emotion of the night.
A set of pictures from Monday night at Jay Pritzker continue below..