May 19th, 2014
Swans are on the road promoting their latest critically acclaimed album "To Be Kind", a mammoth masterpiece produced by John Congleton that clocks in at over 2 hours. They played the Music Hall in Williamsburg and delivered a seven song set that stretched out over a couple hours and blew more than a few minds.
The last time I saw Swans they were touring in support of their mind grinding 2012 release, "The Seer". It was the first time I'd seen them and left a believer in their dark magic. This time I went in not only prepared for the avalanche of sound I knew would spill from the stage, but eager for it. Plugs buried in my ear canals, I took up a spot center stage with the super fans and photogs. Many music writers have begun calling Swans the greatest rock band on earth right now. I won't go that far, but I will say this, seeing and hearing them live is like nothing else. They sound like planets being born. Visions of crumbling rock faces and lava explosions flash through your mind. They don't play songs, they hammer out worlds. Rising and falling, coiling and striking, simmering and boiling, songs extend far beyond the traditional song structures we're used to being spoon fed. Bring The Sun, a track they played from the new album, is over a half hour long. When the song burst wide open about 10 minutes in, a guy next to me turned to jelly and appeared to melt on the stage. Those of us nearby had to help him up so he could retreat. I'm sure the alcohol played a part, but I'd only seen him drink two beers. My theory, Swans had turned his brain to pudding. Listen to their new album, or better yet see them live. If you're a lover of challenging and adventurous music, I guarantee you'll be blown away.
For the full photo set, go HERE.