Sunday, February 01, 2015

Low @ Barby Club (Jan. 26)

The opening act whose name I didn't catch performed a mesmerizing one man solo act of tortured country blues, which hit upon exactly the right formula for setting the mood for Low.  I heard a name like "Sam Taylor" which is unfortunately un-Googleable (as is "Low").  Make no mistake, this was a crowd of dedicated fans who came out in full force to see Low, packing the Barby fuller than I'd seen it in a long time. 

Much like their last visit in the fall of '08, Low went long.  Not 2.5 hours long like they had previously, but close to two hours, spanning two encores and some twenty songs spanning just about their entire career.  Low have reached the point in their career where you can pencil in each new album for a middling 6.5-7.0/10 from all the usual review sites, but they can still make an impact by playing these kinds of gigs to a healthy group of fans for as long as they want to.  Their most recent album, "The Invisible Way" was their most muscular effort since my personal favourite "The Great Destroyer", and anyone who dismisses Low as one trick ponies either live or in the studio hasn't been paying close enough attention.

Their set featured two songs from their debut that I'd been dying to hear live for ages, "Words" and "Lullaby", the latter being particularly rare in their live sets.  They also played "Things We Lost In the Fire"'s arguably most sublime moment, "Laser Beam", and several songs from "The Invisible Way" that simply slay live, most notably "On My Own".  But Low have reached a point where they have ten albums worth of material to pick from, and songs that they can conceivably play in just about any order. The mood is the star, not any particular song or past single that they may or may not get around to playing.  It never comes as a surprise, but Low delivered their signature sound and mood in spades. 

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