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Old 09.05.2010, 09:41 PM   #1
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I've seen quite a few bands, and I must say, Shellac were quite possibly the best live band I have ever seen. They were so fucking tight. All the starts/stops/weird time signature shifts, they totally nailed. The sound was among the very best I've ever heard at a show. I don't know if I have ever seen a band so completely in touch with their own unique sound, and so able to duplicate the sound of their recorded music so purely in a live setting. That's not to say that they played everything the exact way as they do on their albums. What I mean is that the tone of the bass and the guitar, Todd brutalizing his drums, Steve's sneering vocal delivery, it all came through perfectly in the mix and blended so well. Usually at a show, you can pick out one or two little things that don't sound exactly right to you, like, 'oh the vocals are kinda hard to hear' or 'what the hell is that guy even playing on guitar, it sounds all shitty and muddy', but not here, it was all just kinda pure, unaffected sound coming straight at you. Total clarity. I think that's one of the best things about Shellac, the purity of the sounds they're able to create with no layering of like 800 guitars and vocals and shit. It really lends itself sooo well to a live performance. Totally no nonsense and fucking awesome.

Plus the venue kicked serious ass. It was in the basement of an old church in downtown Buffalo that Ani Defranco bought and renovated. I've only ever been there one other time, and I wish more bands I wanted to see played there, cause it's fantastic. It's just a small room with a low ceiling, rough-hewn stone walls, a tiny stage like 6 inches off the ground and only a couple of white lights to illuminate the whole place. Fucking great place to see a show. I was like two feet in front of Albini for the whole set, and it was killer.

Highlights: They opened with Ghosts and closed with Watch Song. They did Canada, Copper, My Black Ass, A Minute (my personal favorite by them), The End of Radio, Killers and a bunch more.

I talked to Steve, Todd and Bob after the show, too. All nice guys. Bought a t-shirt off of Steve (didn't know Shellac HAD any t-shirts!) and talked to Bob about Mission of Burma for a few minutes, which was cool as hell.

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Old 09.05.2010, 09:42 PM   #2
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Old 09.05.2010, 09:44 PM   #3
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Old 09.05.2010, 09:46 PM   #4
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Old 09.05.2010, 09:52 PM   #5
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Experimental cellist, Helen Money, opened the show. She was was pretty cool too. Her songs shifted from traditional sounding, classical cello to distortion and straight up noise. She played the instrument almost guitar-like throughout certain passages in her songs, and kept activating/deactivating these loops with her pedals. She covered 'Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing' by the Minutemen too. Weird song to hear played on a cello, but it was pretty cool. She even nailed the solo.

 
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Old 09.05.2010, 09:53 PM   #6
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Badass. Those pictures are great, glad to hear they rocked it live.

Is it me, or does Albini look like he hasn't really aged at all over the years?

~Jeremy~
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Old 09.06.2010, 02:08 AM   #7
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POLITICAL SONG FOR MICHAEL JACKSON TO SING! That's my favorite Minutemen song. I'd love to hear it on cello!!!

Yeah, I think Shellac is definitely the best live band I've ever seen, with Melt Banana MAYBE topping them a wee bit.
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Old 09.06.2010, 02:10 AM   #8
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nice! luvn the pics.
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Old 09.06.2010, 02:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pax Americana
Bought a t-shirt off of Steve (didn't know Shellac HAD any t-shirts!)


Sellouts!







yep, when I saw them live I had a lot of fun and they were soooo good.
Amazing live band, glad you enjoyed the show and that does look like a kickass venue indeed. Weird to see such a low-ceiling room for a show, did the sound work out nicely or people in the back rows had complaints?
Just curious, it's not important at all...
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Old 09.06.2010, 10:55 AM   #10
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Yeah my favourite live band as well, and the pictures you took are brilliant. I'm jealous of the venue you got to enjoy them in, when they played here it was a typical venue with a high up stage. I think the intimacy of the place you have pictured would have made the show way more intense than usual.
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Old 09.06.2010, 11:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atsonicpark
Yeah, I think Shellac is definitely the best live band I've ever seen, with Melt Banana MAYBE topping them a wee bit.
Funny enough I am seeing them both pretty fast.
Can't wait to see shellac(even the ex is opening on there dutch date(s)), great pictures by the way.
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Old 09.06.2010, 08:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicfit
Sellouts!







yep, when I saw them live I had a lot of fun and they were soooo good.
Amazing live band, glad you enjoyed the show and that does look like a kickass venue indeed. Weird to see such a low-ceiling room for a show, did the sound work out nicely or people in the back rows had complaints?
Just curious, it's not important at all...

Not sure how the sound was in the back. I stayed right up front for the whole show. I know what you mean though about the low ceiling. I thought the same thing, like... 'wow, this is a tiny room, it's literally all stone, and the ceiling is really low... how the hell will this work for a band like this?' The only other time I had been there was for an acoustic show, and the sound was quiet and totally fine. It sounded great though where I was standing. The only speakers were two real small ones on either side of the stage. I don't even think they mic'd the drums at all. So I was basically just getting the raw sound of the two amps and the drums right in my face, and it was perfect. Really intimate show though. It was like being at a basement show or something... only with Shellac and not some shitty local garage band.
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Old 09.07.2010, 12:07 PM   #13
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fucking aw3esome. thanks for trhe pictures.

I saw shellac a while back, great fucking show
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Old 09.07.2010, 12:24 PM   #14
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great pics Pax Americana! not sure if we know each other i also live in B-lo...

Wanted to go to this show pretty bad but i heard about it the day of and tix were sold out. not sure why i didn't know about but i think this show wasn't promoted well probably due to the smallish capacity that the basement space at babeville has, also kinda weird to me that they would put on such a show but I guess Difranco has a more broadened taste than i'd expect... talked to Steve Backzowski (crazy great improv saxman who's played with Corsano and also is music director @ Hallwalls as they share some of the space with Ani's Babeville) and he said it was a great show, real intimate w/ maybe 150 people tops... it would've been a crazy busy nite for me anyways as right after i would've had to run further downtown to Soundlab to catch Tortoise (also at a smallish venue for the group) they were pretty good, as the sound was just OK... wished that these two shows were combined as one bill Shellac/Tortoise, that would've been great weird nite in Buffalo for having both of these Chicago bands in town and with the Black Keys (whom i don't care for anyways) play in town on the same nite.
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Old 09.07.2010, 12:33 PM   #15
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shellac is a lot of fun live!
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Old 09.08.2010, 02:00 AM   #16
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I saw them tonight and I was blown away. I saw them once before about four or five years ago. They were great then, but tonight's show was superior. One of the best live shows I've been to in a while. As you noted, they sounded perfect, the sound at the venue I was at was also very good, they were tight, hilarious, and did a lot of amazing ad-libbing on songs (most notably on 'Wingwalker.') Fucking phenomenal.
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Old 09.08.2010, 11:48 AM   #17
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nice! i met bob a few months back when mission of burma were in dublin. totally nice guy and in fact all the burma lads were so nice!


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Old 09.08.2010, 06:34 PM   #18
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From the Brooklyn show:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Mnu744JlWc

The uploader promised more videos shortly.
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Old 09.09.2010, 09:01 AM   #19
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the reason SHELLAC sound so "good" live is that they record their albums like albini prefers, which is to say, their recordings are full-on whole-song recordings with the entire band playing at once, minimal overdubs, minimal studio effects, so when you play AT SONIC PARK loud you are really hearing three monsters playing music, not the trickery of a studio engineer.


I HATE seeing a band live and hearing how muddy and thin and crap they sound without the studio overlays and effects and overdubs. (Interpol anyone?)
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Old 09.09.2010, 05:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott v
great pics Pax Americana! not sure if we know each other i also live in B-lo...

Wanted to go to this show pretty bad but i heard about it the day of and tix were sold out. not sure why i didn't know about but i think this show wasn't promoted well probably due to the smallish capacity that the basement space at babeville has, also kinda weird to me that they would put on such a show but I guess Difranco has a more broadened taste than i'd expect... talked to Steve Backzowski (crazy great improv saxman who's played with Corsano and also is music director @ Hallwalls as they share some of the space with Ani's Babeville) and he said it was a great show, real intimate w/ maybe 150 people tops... it would've been a crazy busy nite for me anyways as right after i would've had to run further downtown to Soundlab to catch Tortoise (also at a smallish venue for the group) they were pretty good, as the sound was just OK... wished that these two shows were combined as one bill Shellac/Tortoise, that would've been great weird nite in Buffalo for having both of these Chicago bands in town and with the Black Keys (whom i don't care for anyways) play in town on the same nite.

Don't think we know each other.
Yeah, the show wasn't really promoted at all. Guess that's no big surprise with a band like Shellac, and the small venue. I didn't find out about it till Monday and the show was Thursday. I had to run out and grab tickets and scramble to get the night off of work.

Yeah, I saw that Tortoise was playing the same night. That would have been a cool show to see too, altough I would have preferred Shellac. I didn't really care about the Black Keys either, but yeah, three relatively 'big' shows in one night downtown!
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