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    Swans, the long-running avant garde rock band, made a stop in Louisville last Thursday. The show was a part of the tour promoting their latest record “The Glowing Man” which released last month. The show was unlike anything you’re likely to see for a very long time.

    The concert was opened by Okkyung Lee, a cellist who simply came out on stage, began playing, and left after thirty minutes. Lee fit Swans’ typical tone of dark, unpredictable rhythms, her cello making a flurry of strange and fascinating sounds. It was an opener that did a fantastic job of setting the atmosphere of what was to follow.

    This was the single loudest live music performance I have ever attended, and I even had earplugs in. The volume started out thin, as Swans tracks usually do, and built into thundering, grandiose walls of sound that shook the body.  Over the course of about two hours, the band only played about six songs, a couple stretching over a half hour, but the length was never an issue. The brooding, crushing instrumentation, and front man Michael Gira’s cryptic vocals, provided for an immersive experience that made the time fly by.

    After the show, Gira stood at the merch booth, talked with fans and signed their items. It was an intimate cap to what was already a very engaging, entertaining, and memorable night.

    You can purchase their latest album, The Glowing Man, here.


    Cover Image: Swans

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    About Aaron Hartley

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