Tonight they started us off with a slow, low teasing whirl of moans and drones. Gira is singing the same line over and over against
a pedal steel growl and Thor resonating something out of sight gently with sticks. Then suddenly the assault begins. The drums
and the three guitars pummel us over and over again.
I don't know if this was a new song or just softening us up so we will be putty in their hands. Either way, it works. The sound
tonight is loud and deep. It hits you right in the chest and shakes your insides. Last time I saw Swans in the same venue, the
volume was shockingly polite. There was NOTHING polite about tonight. They fucked us without asking us our name.
The second song almost sounds like a couple of songs off 'The Seer' but not quite. I don't know, like most of tonight's set, I
could not work if they were just jamming out existing songs into new territories or if they were hitting us brand new tracks that
they're developing on the road.
It doesn't really matter because tonight Swans really were fucking excellent. I last saw them nearly two and a half years ago on
this line-ups first tour. In the time that has passed since then, they really have gelled into the best Swans yet. Last time they played
some songs. This time they played with us. Huge, soaring jams of heavy sounds and violence came rumbling through in wave after
We really were all lost in the music. Time ceased to be a concept and many concert goers shut their eyes and swayed to the
pulse of music. I was so overwhelmed and lost in the music that it never occurred to me to take any pictures to accompany this
article. I could not even make any notes.
Gira seemed to be singing in tongues sometimes and then started to conduct his band like a noise composer. It was all conquering,
indescribable music and even all the awe-struck Swans experts in our group agreed we had never heard anything like it before.
The only digression is when they play 'Coward' from 1983's 'Holy Money' album. Only this line-up plays it better than ever. It
becomes a devastating, sickening lurch. They play it faster and harder, leaving behind even the live version on 'Public Castration Is
A Good Idea'. Gira intoning the lyrics like a demented preacher over the big sexy noise.
Swans live really are offering up an experience unmatched in musical history. This is no nostalgia trip. This is a skull-crushing, all-
anihilating, transcendental death trip. Long live Swans.