Sunday, October 6th, 2002
Proclaim Your Joy
Mark Eitzel is one of my favorite songwriters of the last ten years, so I wasn’t going to let an opportunity to finally see him live slip by. An opening slot for Low was certainly better than nothing, though time-wise, that’s almost how it seemed. Scheduled for a 7:45 PM start time, Eitzel took the stage at around 10 minutes to, accompanied only by a percussionist. From note one, it was blissful. His world-weary baritone was in perfect form on both material from his solo career and the handful of American Music Club nuggets he trotted out. The only complaint was the brevity of the set – 35 minutes was not nearly enough and an encore wasn’t forthcoming despite the pleas of the audience. This is a man who needs to come back to town on a headlining bill, or failing that we need to go to him.
Disappointing as it was when Eitzel left the stage, Low offered up a worthy consolation prize. Taking slow and minimalist to a new extreme, Low played a hypnotizing and more than a little narcolepsy-inducing hour-fifteen set. The band shared a single set list. Percussion consisted of exactly one ride, one snare and one floor tom. Occasionally Mimi Parker would work a tambourine or handclaps into things. Less really is more with Low – despite the spareness of the sound, it always sounded full, there was never a sense of something missing. Everything – drums, guitar lines, bass, vocal harmonies – was in its right place. A very pleasant (and non-tinnitus-inducing!) different sort of show.
Guitars – Alan Sparhawk played Gretsch double-cutaway semi-hollow with Bigsby, 12-string acoustic and double-bound sunburst Fat Telecaster with rosewood neck, all into a blackface Fender Deluxe Reverb. Sounded like there was a Line6 delay modeler in the mix as well
np – Olivia Tremor Control / Presents : Singles And Beyond