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Concert Thu May 08 2014
If anyone was concerned before about the Godspeed You! Black Emperor reunion shows possibly putting Efrim Menuck's other project, Thee Silver Mt. Zion on hold, there now seems to be no reason to doubt that Efrim Menuck can handle somehow being a parent, releasing albums under both bands, and touring heavily. It's enough to inspire awe in both his creativity and his stamina.
Fans already have a sense of the band as intense whether it's members are performing with TSMZ or GY!BE but one thing that really comes off live is Menuck's personality. He always asks if there are any questions or statements anyone would like to make. This time around, statements varied from asking their opinion about the Israeli-Palestine conflict to asking Efrim to ask if an audience member was a fireman. Between jokes about Teddy Roosevelt, The Clash, and Tim Horton being a real man that was decapitated, Menuck also did speak about how the current prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, has really changed the rules and done some real damage.
Whenever the band returned to the music section, it was still as stellar as always, wavering between a mixture of anguish and ecstasy, and of punk rock. They focused on their new album with "Austerity Blues" being the absolute highlight of the set. Overall, it was great to hear the singing and dual violin playing of both Jessica Moss and Sophie Trudeau along with Thierry Amar's stand up bass especially and listen to how tight the songs already sound live during their 90 minute long set.
As to the opener, Total Life, whose music hummed and vibrated with a kind of glorious dronetastic energy,some say the world will end with a bang but after hearing his 40 minute set, I think the world will end with something like his sound instead which will hopefully erase all our faults and tragedies as each soul vanishes off of the Earth, turned into a bunch of depleted molecules that no longer make sense. And when the ruins of our civilization are found eons later, the explorers will recognize this about us: they had wars but they also had music.