Sunday, March 20, 2011

GY!BE - 03/14/11

Godspeed You! Black Emperor (henceforth referred to as GY!BE) start from where Echoes left off. That, however, is not to deny them originality or to comment on some supposed derivativeness or undue Pink Floyd influences. Their long, unending, grandly ambitious instrumental sagas with somewhat minimalistic, vaguely relevant found footage films running on projectors in the background (see picture) to which their music seems to provide a narrative of sorts; resemble Floyd only in the most superficial way.

Almost classical in scope (Shekhar used the word 'meditative'), with none of their songs-with-no-vocals clocking in less than ten minutes, they can seem to be an acquired taste - especially their meandering, experimental, purposeless-on-the-surface initial phase jamming which will then suddenly gel together to form an intricate harmony in which the projectionist's footages of panoramic views from trains/arbitrary industrial landscapes suddenly seem to acquire a meaning of their own.

Although musically the band they might resemble most is Mogwai, it is easy to see that they transcend their predecessors by focusing not just on creating "serious guitar music" but by also incorporating sounds from instruments not generally associated with rock music (the eight person band (?) has members playing violins, cellos, two sets of drum kits and at least three guitars).

When the venue's Terminal 5, a good vantage point is of paramount importance. With the ever-resourceful Shekhar at his side, NF was lucky to have found that and a set of very comfy ass-rests. The mild state of buzz - courtesy the beers - and the background GY!BE footage viewed through the partially filled mug, added to the ambience and sprinkled a dash of good weirdness (in the form of inebriation) to the already very heavily atmospheric music.

And GY!BE? They didn't speak a word. No hi, no bye, no sorry, no thank you.

They arrived, they played, they fucking destroyed!

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