Sunday, March 05, 2017

Live: Swans @ Gagarin 205 (Athens, March 3rd, 2017)

For their fourth gig in Athens, Michael Gira's Swans returned to Gagarin 205, the venue where we first saw them six years ago. In these six years the band has released three of the best rock albums of this decade, three epic works unlike anything else out there, and it's no exaggeration to say that all of their live shows have been nothing short of a revelation.

This means there was no way I would let my 38°C fever (which I still haven't shaken off completely as I write these lines) to prevent me from attending this sold-out gig and experiencing once again the magnificent sonic constructions that only Swans can create on-stage.

The two hour and 15 minute set masterfully balanced extended, drone-noise pieces like the new composition "The Knot" that occupied the first half hour of the set or "Cloud of Unknowing", with shorter (for their standards, of course, meaning around the 10-minute mark!), leaner, rhythmic noise-punk explosions as the exquisite "Screen Shot" (off our 2014 Album of the Year "To Be Kind") or "The Man Who Refused to Be Unhappy", another excellent new number that prepares us for the next chapter in the Swans history.

The triumphant gig reached its climactic ending with another epic composition, "The Glowing Man", the title track off their latest album. If this album, and therefore this tour, turns out to be, as announced, the end of their current line-up, I can't imaging a more fitting epilogue than this great show. And as the new songs have shown, there is a lot more to expect from Gira and any new reincarnation of the Swans.

The gig opened with something completely different, an hour-long set of Cretan music with the unique voice and lyra playing style of Psarantonis. Gira, a big fan of folk music, is among his admirers and picked him for the opening slot, which was warmly received by the crowd.

Psarantonis, live @ Gagarin 205
Check out below two of the highlights from the fourth Athens gig of the Swans, "Screen Shot" and "The Man Who Refused to Be Unhappy" and click on this tag if you want to remember what went down at their three previous shows here (and more Swans related posts).

Swans - Screen Shot (live @ Gagarin 205)

Swans - The Man Who Refused To Be Unhappy (live @ Gagarin 205)

Swans, live @ Gagarin 205 (Athens, March 3rd, 2017)

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