One of the best gigs of 2013. Low’s slow-core, sleepy alt.rock created such a unique atmosphere in which a respectful warmth greeted the band as the crowd simply listened intensely to everything the band did. A mesmerising display of artistry.
Date: November 15, 2013
Venue: Rescue Rooms
As Low amble on stage, a cinema screen plays grainy old footage of America behind them and remains throughout, pushing home the band’s proud American roots.
With a set time of 8:20pm sharp, and with a curfew of 10pm, the Minnesota trio had plenty of time to cherry pick from their golden 20-year existence.
For the uninitiated, Low are known for their solumn, soothing Americana, often referred to as slow core (a term the band hate). Ironic, then, that it’s a song entitled Canada that ups the pace. However, its muffled drums act as a buffer, and it remains reticent.
The gig is a lesson in studied, learned musicianship and artistry. Every utterance from the band’s fulcrum Alan Sparhawk is audible, as the hushed crowd listen intensely to their often somnolent yet jaw-dropping songs.
Heads nod knowingly and approvingly as their plaintive shuffle-rock and stoner vibes waft around the room.
Monkey, is superb, a simmering – not quite boiling – beast; Nothing But Heart builds and builds, its bricks heavy with pathos, its sound stopping short of over-powering, while on Just Make It Stop, drummer/singer Mimi Parker takes over, forging a delicate sound from a jangly, escalating song.
Elsewhere there’s fuzz and scuzz (Pissing), malevolent rock-noir (Murderer) and a lullaby to send any child, no matter how grumpy, to the land of nod (the dreamy Over The Ocean). There’s even a minimalistic cover of Rihanna’s Stay!
Void of the vagaries of rock ‘n’ roll, their restrained, simple, straightforward alt.rock is incredibly enchanting.