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View Full Version : Godspeed You! Black Emperor -- San Francisco, CA -- February 19th, 2011


idrinkwine732
02-21-2011, 03:56 PM
idrinkwine732 and Godspeed You! Black Emperor: A Love Story

http://i853.photobucket.com/albums/ab91/idrinkwine732/IMG_0552.jpg

I bought tickets to this show when I was in Texas, attending the upset victory of UCLA over Texas, who at the time, I hoped would be my alma mater. I wasn't too into Godspeed You! Black Emperor or post-rock at the time, but I knew that their reunion was sort of a big deal, so I bought a ticket to their show on February 20th, 2011. Over the next two months, I had purchased Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven! and Slow Riot for a New Zero Kanada and had fallen head over heels for them. I learned that they had sold out their two shows at the famous Great American Music Hall in fifteen minutes each, and had booked another show at the almost as historic Warfield the previous day. I glanced over the idea of buying tickets, and by the time I had decided I wanted to go, they were sold out. Just my luck, three weeks later I checked again and TicketMaster had released some more tickets. I was seeing GY!BE one day earlier than I thought I was.

Zoom to February 19th 2011, I was excited. It was raining all day, but the second that I was getting ready to go, it had stopped. I would usually claim this to be some sign from the metal gods, but I'm skeptical that any hipster post-rock gods exist. I was jovial on my drive into San Francisco.

It took me fucking 45 minutes to find parking. Granted, it's sort of my fault, I was looking for something a little on the cheap side, but I bit the bullet eventually. It was a little bit before 9 o'clock when I got in line. At this point, it was a couple blocks long. I haven't ever seen anything like it. It was as if the hipster signal had been shining from the Warfield's roof.

http://i853.photobucket.com/albums/ab91/idrinkwine732/IMG_0549.jpg

I was about 10 minutes late for Om, but the 30 minutes or so I saw of them was incredible. They had Robert A Lowe and Jackie Perez Gratz up on stage to give some guest spots, which was a welcomed surprise. Lowe was on their latest album, God is Good, and he delivered some haunting chants. Incredible. Their live set was enthralling, a really cool energy. Al Cisneros has this sort of awkward stage presence, but he makes it work for him. Call me crazy, but he looked a lot more comfortable up there with Om than he did with Sleep a few months earlier. These guys were really a ton of fun.

http://i853.photobucket.com/albums/ab91/idrinkwine732/IMG_0554.jpg

I guess it's because I'm used to 45 minute change overs between bands, but I was amazed to see Godspeed You! Black Emperor take the stage only twenty minutes after Om had left. I think opening with Hope Drone, an ambient...well...drone, is sort of a bummer, but it gave you a good introduction to what the set would be like. It was focused around atmosphere, and the film loop took center stage. The drone continued, with Sophie playing the occasional note or so, and Efrim messing around with a few chords and notes. Then, it slowed, and the soothing introduction riffs to Gathering Storm started. The introduction was beautiful and extremely appropriate. An hour later, my eyes were locked on the stage by the time the Chart #3 loop started. I'd been waiting for this song and its companion to be played live forever. There was a lone torch being burned on screen, with Mike and David combining to create the introduction to World Police and Friendly Fire. I was all shaken up at this point, my feet were tired, my back hurt, and I felt like an old man. I hadn't ever been to a show like this.

"I went to court today for a speeding ticket."

BBF3 is a totally overrated song, and I can't stand its sample. With that said, I think it was a fairly appropriate song to close with, because it winds up to this climax (as all post-rock songs do) and descends in a manner that is extremely representative of the genre itself.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly disappointed on my way out of the Warfield. I had a fantastic time, both bands were incredible, but I expected more. I expected some personal connection between the bands, and it never happened. I couldn't shake that I was in a venue with over 2,000 other people, all of them sitting still with a seldom few bobbing their heads around. The stage was enormous, the atmosphere was too, but I expected this to be a show I write home about. Hopefully tomorrow's show at GAMH, a 600 person venue, will be what I was hoping.

http://i853.photobucket.com/albums/ab91/idrinkwine732/th_IMG_0561.jpg (http://s853.photobucket.com/albums/ab91/idrinkwine732/?action=view&current=IMG_0561.jpg)


http://i853.photobucket.com/albums/ab91/idrinkwine732/th_IMG_0557.jpg (http://s853.photobucket.com/albums/ab91/idrinkwine732/?action=view&current=IMG_0557.jpg)

Praying these photos won't come out all Godzilla on me.

EDIT: Unanswered prayer.

EDIT2: Forgot Setlist!!!!11one

Hope Drone
Gathering Storm
They Don't Sleep Anymore on the Beach
Monheim
The Albanian
Chart #3
World Police and Friendly Fire
Dead Metheny
Rockets Fall on Rocket Falls
Taser Floyd
BBF3

adamclark52
02-21-2011, 04:05 PM
So you say you're not much of a GYBE fan and you get tickets to two of there shows...and I can't get a ticket to any of the four they're playing in Toronto...good for you though. I hope it was a wicked show. I'm jealous.

idrinkwine732
02-21-2011, 04:28 PM
So you say you're not much of a GYBE fan and you get tickets to two of there shows...and I can't get a ticket to any of the four they're playing in Toronto...good for you though. I hope it was a wicked show. I'm jealous.

Well, I wasn't a big fan then, but I certainly am now.

Some vids are on the way too, I got some good footage of Gathering Storm and World Police.

slapguitarer
02-21-2011, 04:47 PM
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly disappointed on my way out of the Warfield. I had a fantastic time, both bands were incredible, but I expected more. I expected some personal connection between the bands, and it never happened. I couldn't shake that I was in a venue with over 2,000 other people, all of them sitting still with a seldom few bobbing their heads around. The stage was enormous, the atmosphere was too, but I expected this to be a show I write home about. Hopefully tomorrow's show at GAMH, a 600 person venue, will be what I was hoping.



I don't get how in such an atmosphere, there were so little people moving. Hipsters...

idrinkwine732
02-21-2011, 04:52 PM
I don't get how in such an atmosphere, there were so little people moving. Hipsters...

If you didn't live so far away from the city, I'd emplore you to try and get your ass down to the third show tonight.

Spoiler Alert: It was a lot better than this show.

If I get my act together, and can't find anything to do tonight, I might go.

jotun2graveland
02-21-2011, 04:56 PM
Thanks for the in-depth review! I'm seeing them in Tokyo on Sunday at a venue that holds around 2400 people, since they're headlining a one day festival type thing. Really hoping that the atmosphere is better though despite size, but I have no idea yet what Japanese crowds are like.

slapguitarer
02-21-2011, 04:57 PM
If you didn't live so far away from the city, I'd emplore you to try and get your ass down to the third show tonight.

Spoiler Alert: It was a lot better than this show.

If I get my act together, and can't find anything to do tonight, I might go.

I thought it was sold out.
Also, I live an hour/an hour and half away from the city
Also also, I can't drive myself.

So no GY!BE for me :(

ShatteredFlame
02-21-2011, 05:02 PM
The atmosphere about these types of shows is always something I'm never too fond of. I go to many local orchestra type shows and always feel like jumping around because the music makes me all lively...or something like that. But the crowd is just too sophisticated for that.

I'm seeing GY!BE next month in a church. Should be quite the experience!

idrinkwine732
02-21-2011, 05:04 PM
I thought it was sold out.
Also, I live an hour/an hour and half away from the city
Also also, I can't drive myself.

So no GY!BE for me :(

They are sold out, but people were selling their extra ticket outside.

:/ bummer, maybe they'll play again some time.

ShatteredFlame
02-21-2011, 05:04 PM
Thanks for the in-depth review! I'm seeing them in Tokyo on Sunday at a venue that holds around 2400 people, since they're headlining a one day festival type thing. Really hoping that the atmosphere is better though despite size, but I have no idea yet what Japanese crowds are like.

The lineup of that festival is amazing! Boris, GY!BE, Autolux, Melt-Banana, Boredoms, Envy!!! I'm sure the crowd would be amazing for especially Melt-Banana

jotun2graveland
02-21-2011, 05:17 PM
The lineup of that festival is amazing! Boris, GY!BE, Autolux, Melt-Banana, Boredoms, Envy!!! I'm sure the crowd would be amazing for especially Melt-Banana

I got a ticket for the show the moment I found out about it. The one downside to the show is that they have two stages for it. Melt-Banana is the last band to play on the second stage, so I'm still debating if I want to get a good spot for GY!BE or go see Melt-Banana.

slapguitarer
02-21-2011, 05:17 PM
They are sold out, but people were selling their extra ticket outside.

:/ bummer, maybe they'll play again some time.

That's what I'm hoping. Gives me more time to listen to them and indugle in their music.

idrinkwine732
02-21-2011, 05:27 PM
idrinkwine732 and Godspeed You! Black Emperor: A Love Story...continued

Jesus Christ I was sore on Sunday. Didn't stop me from heading into the city early, though. I stopped by Valencia Street to Aquarius Records, where I picked up my Scion Rock Fest wristband, on the off chance I can actually make it down there in a few weeks. I got some dinner at a place and zoomed on over to the Great American Music Hall, which now is becoming one of my favorite venues in the city. I scored the awesomest parking space right around the corner, and it was on the street, so I paid zip. It was only about 6:45 when I got there, so there were only about fifty people in line. GAMH did a hell of a job cutting down on scalping. They limited the amount of tickets you could buy, 2, and they made them all will call. It made for a pretty terrible process of getting in though. People were confused, people showed up trying to get tickets at the door. It was pretty painless for me though. I just went straight on up to the L-Z guy at the end of the line, he gave me my ticket and I was in the door.

http://i853.photobucket.com/albums/ab91/idrinkwine732/IMG_0576.jpg

The people in front of me had ordered garlic fries. Look, it's a love it or hate it thing, like marmite, but it made me feel starving, and the night a lot more hellacious. The opening band tonight was Date Palms, an ambient-ish sort of band. They probably were exactly what everyone thought an opener should be for Godspeed, but I just wasn't into them. They had a sitar...ist and he played these same notes for the first 20 minutes while the bassist repeated some notes and a violinist played. Their set dragged on for what seemed like a long time. It was an incredible contrast between them and Om. Damn those garlic fries. I could have eaten a small cow.

The glaring omission from the setlist the day before was Moya. I was really eager to see that song played, so I looked it up on my phone and I found out they played it semi-regularly, but I knew, with my luck, if there was one day they wouldn't play it, it would be the day I'm there. So when I heard Sophie, Efrim, Mike and co. all start the beginning of Hope Drone, I wasn't excited, I was nervous. They ended Hope Drone the same way as the night before, with Efrim messing around with some riffs. But then, there was a noticeable change in Mike's guitar tone, and I knew they were going to play it. Moya ascended into a beautiful and organic sounding piece, and was just like I imagined.

http://i853.photobucket.com/albums/ab91/idrinkwine732/IMG_0596.jpg

I had seen most of the setlists from the previous shows in Canada, Seattle and Portland, so I had an idea of the pool of songs that they would choose from. I think we got the best of the bunch. They rocked through The Albanian, Monheim and Dead Metheny, as well as World Police, all songs we'd gotten the night before. I expected them to just play Gathering Storm, but we ended up getting a lot of Storm. It was one of those things where you thought it was going to end right...now, but it wouldn't. That's not a complaint, though. I was sort of getting tired of the tease though, I wanted to see what they were closing with. They then overlayed a little bit of the end of Storm with The Sad Mafioso, and really let some improvisation go with it. I was really happy to see Sad Mafioso, because after Moya, that might be my favorite Godspeed song. It offers such a beautiful sense of melancholy and gives off a feeling of being both lethargic and energetic. It's weird.

http://i853.photobucket.com/albums/ab91/idrinkwine732/IMG_0590.jpg

I left The Warfield the previous night tired and slightly disappointed. I wanted more. I left the Great American Music Hall last night feeling fulfilled and happy. I was so sure that I wouldn't be seeing Moya, that once I saw it, it made me ecstatic. That feeling of ecstasy continued the entire night, something that the previous show couldn't compete with. I was happy. I was gassed. I walked away from my two day experience with a nice GY!BE poster, a handful of awesome videos and a ton of great memories.

Hope Drone
Moya
The Albanian
They Don't Sleep Anymore on the Beach
Monheim
Dead Metheny
09-15-00
Chart #3
World Police and Friendly Fire
Storm
The Sad Mafioso

illuminatus917
02-21-2011, 06:08 PM
BBF3 is an inferior song to Moya, yes, but that's not saying a whole lot considering Moya has 6 1/2 minutes of some of the best music I've ever heard. I think BBF3 would be the perfect night ender for the reasons you mentioned… it has an awesome sort of reprise from an earlier dropped theme, then a wonderful climax, then a dark brooding 3 min outro. That outro is a good one to go out on. But the ideal set would have the whole EP played, preferably as a night ender.

The set alone makes night #2 better. Moya and the Sad Mafioso… and World Police… those are three of the best right there.

And there shouldn't be any complaining about "driving distances." Slap is too far out of the city? I'm driving 5 hours to see this band. And 7 1/2 to see Agalloch...

I'm glad it was a great show though.

idrinkwine732
02-21-2011, 08:04 PM
And there shouldn't be any complaining about "driving distances." Slap is too far out of the city? I'm driving 5 hours to see this band. And 7 1/2 to see Agalloch...

Considering how the show was already sold out, doors were opening in an hour from that post and he can't drive himself, I'd say that there were a lot of things that contributed to him not being able to go to the show tonight. I'm only about 30 minutes out of the city, so I can decide to go to a show pretty much an hour before it starts.

Also...

Gathering Storm:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdwqD0vz

Chart #3 and World Police:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2RGokmAjU4

Moya:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO_mW3N3aZE

illuminatus917
02-21-2011, 08:14 PM
If you didn't live so far away from the city, I'd emplore you to try and get your ass down to the third show tonight.



Also, I live an hour/an hour and half away from the city


My point was, in no reasonable context should an hour or an hour and a half be regarded as a far driving distance.

Statutory-Mike
02-21-2011, 09:40 PM
so upset the 4 nyc shows sold out

bigguytoo9
02-21-2011, 10:50 PM
I saw this show FRONT ROW CENTER at the Vogue theater in Vancouver last Wed night.

It was freaking insane!!! more guitar pedals on stage then a BORIS concert.

the setlist was as follows

1. Hope Drone
2. Gathering Storm
3. Monheim
4. Albanian
5. Chart #3
6. World Police and Friendly Fire
7. Dead Metheny
8. Rockets fall On Rocket Falls
9. BBF3

Derelict
02-22-2011, 05:29 AM
Good review man. I know what you mean about the crowd with the hipsters - the faith no more show i saw in july was 98% apathetic hipsters, really killed the mood for me.

IrritatedTrout
02-22-2011, 05:55 AM
I saw this show FRONT ROW CENTER at the Vogue theater in Vancouver last Wed night.

It was freaking insane!!! more guitar pedals on stage then a BORIS concert.

the setlist was as follows

1. Hope Drone
2. Gathering Storm
3. Monheim
4. Albanian
5. Chart #3
6. World Police and Friendly Fire
7. Dead Metheny
8. Rockets fall On Rocket Falls
9. BBF3

:lol: You say that like it's a good thing.