I took my wife to her first show at Fitzgerald's in Houston this past Saturday night. This was my third trip to the venue since October (Legendary Pink Dots, Acid Mothers Temple) and the same place I first saw Swans 19 years ago on the 'The Great Annihilator' tour.
We arrived around 7:30 PM and were about fourth in line waiting for the doors to open. When waiting for such a thing, I'm always amazed at the sort of people who show up at shows. Everything from Gothic Queens of the Night to a couple who looked like they had spent the day hiking the Grand Canyon.
Xiu Xiu hit the stage at 9:20 PM and was done by 9:40. For this night, Xiu Xiu was just Jamie Stewart sitting at a card table connecting wires and tweaking knobs. I found it amusing that the security guys / bartenders / soundboard operators had their fingers stuck in their ears. It was so loud and came across to me as a pure crap. Just distorted reverb that sounded as if it had no plan or purpose. About five minutes in, Jamie started barking like a dog for a good twenty seconds.
Thor Harris started with a Gong and Cymbal solo just before 10:00 PM. Twenty minutes later, Phil Puleo joined on the drums and was quickly followed by, Christoph Hahn on steel guitar......by 10:30, everyone was on the stage.
Michael kept cracking jokes about their being a problem with the AC, but I believe it was turned off on purpose as I noticed none of the fans mounted to the walls or ceiling were working. It was hot and humid and at times it appeared Michael was concentrating to breath, but he also seemed to really be enjoying himself.
Michael did a good bit on gyrating and cavorting on stage, but I have no way of knowing if it was Thom Yorke like. Most of the band members were switching back and fourth between cans of Shiner and Lone Star Beer.
(what my ears recognized)
A Little God In My Hands
Just A Little Boy
Bring The Sun / Black Hole Man (I'm An Ass Hole Man)
To my surprise, my wife really enjoyed it! She keeps commenting about the "eye contact" and how they just fed off of each other......and how Michael would bring them up / down with his hand gestures......a few minutes after midnight, they were taking their final bows and it was all over.