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Godspeed You! Black Emperor Mohegan Sun Arena, Saturday October 12th 2013

Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s show

Anticipation in the audience builds. The lights crouch, descending upon the already black-clad crowd; a mother, kneeling down to hush a harping child. The film reel begins. Down from the cradle of darkness, the mysterious, forgotten tales of the projection fill the white screen. A wharf of white noise gathers the spread of its skirting into folds as the members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor slip on stage.

Barricaded by speaker stacks, the assemblage appears as though trapped in a bomb shelter; the post-war setting matching post-rock haze. The two drummers, soldiers, stick heights mechanical, dynamics controlled without a doubt, or even a thought. The band drones on. Observing, we begin to sway, circling, gyrating, feet planted, upper body moving alone. Sophie, the violin player, grinding into her tiny instrument, heavy parallel strokes. The visuals, shattering, matching the entire phenomena of dusk; black and white, split with slits sliding and flashing and layering, images of old text, documents, photos, telephone poles. The effects of the focus are ethereal, wonders of editing in the shifting, seeming silence of the building drone.

The instruments suddenly surf out on the waves of their own infinite sonic buildup, saturated in the continued escalation, sinful resolution swallowing the entire space. The veil falls. High tide has turned to low in the twisting of the clock, rather than the earth. The group packs up their instruments, patiently, knowing few take notice. Efrim, the Emperor impresario, sagging skinny jeans and red boxers sneaking out and a cigarette dragged along for good measure. Hair down, dressed in black, save the betrayal of the boxers. He walks off, gripping his guitar, slipping behind the curtain.

 

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