Last Tuesday I met Lindsay after work for dinner and some beers at Stout Irish Pub before strolling around the corner to the Phoenix.
We were there to see Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Lindsay for the first time, me for the first time in seven years. We got there late so it was tough to find a good spot, but it’s not like you need to see much of what GY!BE does on stage. They started, as they often do, with “Hope Drone” before moving on to more. We’d eventually hear a lot of their latest album Luciferian Towers (including “Bosses Hang”, to my mind one of their best songs) but I was happily surprised when their second song was “Mladic”, another of my all-time favourites, coming from a few albums back.
Midway through the concert I moved toward the back, which was kind of a mistake, and I drifted away from the show a little. But then they ended with the “Sad Mafioso” section of “East Hastings”, which always reminds me of watching 28 Days Later with Tim in London sixteen years ago, and it was savage and thumping and so amazing to see live when I never thought I would. So for the second time I ended up having a weird, almost offputting experience seeing GY!BE, but they played three of my favourite songs, so it felt worth it.
Of course, it might have been fitting if they’d played “Storm” instead since we exited into an epic deluge which swamped the city and drenched me to the bone trying to get home.
The set list:
- “Hope Drone”
- “Bosses Hang”
- “Undoing a Luciferian Towers”
- “Monheim” (including Murray Ostril / ‘…They Don’t Sleep Anymore on the Beach…’) from “Sleep”
- “The Sad Mafioso” from “East Hastings”