Friday, October 5, 2012

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Concert Review

Godspeed You! Black Emperor on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill, NC

After listening to F# A# Infinity on vinyl and looking over some faulty schematics to a ruined machine at my cousin's apartment I was in a GY!BE mood. We ate at a pub across the street from Cat's Cradle at the same time the band did. Efrim, Sophie and co. walked in while we were having a nice talk about measuring the worth of science. They ate at a booth adjacent to us and out of eyesight though, and we didn't bother them on the way out.

I bought the 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! LP as soon as we walked in the venue, as the merch guy told us it was probable they'd sell out before the show finished. Other merch they had included 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! and "God's pee" t-shirts. I talked to some UNC kids, met up with some friends, sat through a monotonous opening band's set, then hung out for about thirty more minutes (at least, probably more like forty-five) while Godspeed set up, and then Hope Drone started and one by one the members came out on stage.

"Hope" started flashing on the projection screen in scratchy font, like it always does.  

My good friend standing beside me said, "it's an Obama ad."
"Hope" flashing was followed by images of trains, dead bodies, decayed buildings, etc.  

Lineup in attendance:

David Bryant

Efrim Menuck
Mike Moya
Sophie Trudeau
Thierry Amar
Mauro Pezzente
Aidan Girt
Tim Herzog (of NC's Black Skies)


1. Hope Drone

2. Mladic
3. "Murray Ostril" ...They Don't Sleep Anymore on the Beach
4. Monheim
[a shit ton of new stuff I didn't recognize and long drone interludes, some of which easily could have been "Their Helicopters' Sing" and "Strung Like Lights at Thee Printemps Erable"]
8. The Sad Mafioso

There were at least three songs in between Monheim and The Sad Mafioso, none of which were on any of their albums, along with a ton of drone material. They're calling one song "Behemoth" on but I don't even know what that is so I'm not putting it in this set. They played for about two and a half hours.

A lot of that new stuff, according to my cousin who's a music guru, was atonal and used eastern scales (which I could never pick up by ear). There was one song in between all the droning that was really good - it seemed like a typical Godspeed song that built up over fifteen or so minutes and reached a massive climax. Of course when the Murray Ostril recording came on, and when Efrim played the opening notes to A Sad Mafioso, the crowd went wild. Cat's Cradle was sold out. Godspeed has become more popular probably than they ever wanted to be.

After the show Efrim was outside the venue talking to some folks and my cousin and I went and asked him what kind of literature he was inspired by. The only answer we got was "The Savage Detectives" by Roberto Bolano.

Slow moving trains and blueprints of drilling rigs

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