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Guided by Voices played Maxwell’s & then Irving Plaza on New Years Eve (pics & setlists)

photos by Chris Gersbeck

Guided By Voices

I’m starting to think Bob Pollard is some sort of miracle of modern science; a man capable of extreme alcohol/tobacco consumption, yet somehow able to give a flawless vocal performance. “Anybody got a joint?” Pollard asked a few songs in (someone from the crowd did in fact pass him one). The 53 year-old singer was swigging off a bottle of tequila most of the night and was practically incoherent between songs, but was shockingly able to hit every note and land every high kick on his own two feet. All this in a nearly three-hour New Year’s Eve set from his band Guided by Voices that stretched past 1AM at Irving Plaza.

Former Cobra Verde and Guided By Voices guitarist Doug Gillard opened the show with full band in tow. Gillard’s backup group held their own with a great set of songs that I’m certain any GBV fan could appreciate. Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws made a special appearance for one song, but the real highlight of the set came aftger Gillard subtly suggested someone else join him on stage for their last song. Of course, this was the cue for Pollard to sing the post-classic lineup song “I Am A Tree” (which Gillard wrote), and halfway through the song, Pollard did just that. I don’t think I was alone in hoping/predicting this would happen as soon as it was announced Doug Gillard was opening this show, and I was ecstatic when it did.

When I saw Guided By Voices at Terminal 5 back in November, I was impressed by how tight they sounded, especially considering how ridiculously lo-fi the recordings of these songs in particular are. This performance was no different. And much like that show, Tobin Sprout was again given the spotlight to sing three of GBV’s most classic songs penned by the guitarist: “A Good Flying Bird”, “Awful Bliss” and “14 Cheerleader Coldfront”. There’s something about this lineup that just seems so right. Forget that these songs are among Guided By Voices’ most memorable and popular throughout their prolific catalog, the five of them seem to have great admiration for each other. The crowd was a different story. I witnessed two scuffles break out on the floor during the set and before GBV came out there was one fan vocally upset that his girlfriend was talking to a group of guys ten feet ahead of him. I guess this is what happens when emotions and champagne run high…

But leave it to a band like Guided By Voices to play a New Year’s Eve show and totally miss the countdown at midnight. Despite several warnings that they were going to stop at midnight, it became apparent towards the end of “Exit Flagger” that, yeah, it was now 2011. It was definitely funny, but something tells me there were a few people who were a little confused. Either way, the band played for over another hour, returning for three encores (48 songs total), and ending with the appropriate “Don’t Stop Now”. Hopefully if you’re a GBV fan you made it out to one of these New York-area shows, but something tells me this is not the last we’ll see of this lineup.

They also played Maxwell’s in Hoboken one night earlier. Both setlists and more pictures from the NYC show, below…

Doug Gillard
Doug Gillard
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Doug Gillard

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Guided by Voices

Guided By Voices
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Guided By Voices

Guided by Voices – Weed King @ Irving Plaza, 12/31/10

Guided By Voices LIVE – Queen of Cans & Jars (New Year’s Eve Show – Irving Plaza, New York City)

GUIDED BY VOICES @ MAXWELL’S 12/30/10 Setlist:
Over the Neptune / Mesh Gear Fox
#2 in the Model Home Series
Echos Myron
Break Even
Shocker in Gloomtown
Tractor Rape Chain
Expecting Brainchild
Pimple Zoo
Closer You Are
Sad If I Lost It
A Good Flying Bird
My Valuable Hunting Knife
Cut-Out Witch
Buzzards and Dreadful Crows
Striped White Jets
Kicker of Elves
Gold Star for Robot Boy
Wondering Boy Poet
Awful Bliss
14 Cheerleader Coldfront
Watch Me Jumpstart
Melted Pat
Atom Eyes
Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory
Queen of Cans and Jars
Game of Pricks
Gleemer
Johnny Appleseed
Weed King
Exit Flagger
My Son Cool
Unleashed! The Large-Hearted Boy
Motor Away

Squirmish Frontal Room
Lethargy
Dodging Invisible Rays
Bright Paper Werewolves
Smothered in Hugs
Postal Blowfish

Jar of Cardinals
Quality of Armor
I Am A Scientist
A Salty Salute
Matter Eater Lad
Some Drilling Implied
Don’t Stop Now


GUIDED BY VOICES @ IRVING PLAZA 12/31/10 Setlist:
#2 in the Model Home Series
Over the Neptune / Mesh Gear Fox
Echos Myron
Break Even
Shocker in Gloomtown
Tractor Rape Chain
Expecting Brainchild
Pimple Zoo
Closer You Are
Sad If I Lost It
A Good Flying Bird
My Valuable Hunting Knife
Cut-Out Witch
Buzzards and Dreadful Crows
Striped White Jets
Kicker of Elves
Gold Star for Robot Boy
Wondering Boy Poet
Awful Bliss
14 Cheerleader Coldfront
Jane of the Waking Universe
Watch Me Jumpstart
Melted Pat
Atom Eyes
Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory
My Impression Now
Queen of Cans and Jars
Hot Freaks
Game of Pricks
Gleemer
Exit Flagger
Johnny Appleseed
Weed King
My Son Cool
Unleashed! The Large-Hearted Boy
Motor Away

Squirmish Frontal Room
Lethargy
Dodging Invisible Rays
Bright Paper Werewolves
Smothered in Hugs

Postal Blowfish
Quality of Armor
I Am A Scientist

A Salty Salute
Matter Eater Lad
Some Drilling Implied
Don’t Stop Now

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