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Middle East Café, Cambridge, MA
Tuesday, 28 October 1997

Review #1 | Review #2

Well, that was by far the most amazing show I've ever been to. It started off with Darlings, who were pretty good, but none the less overshadowed by the other three acts. Then came Mick Turner, who can only be described as pure genius. His use of those loops to build his songs was incredible, not to mention the really great road images that accompanied the music on a small tv at the top left of the stage. Next was Ida, who I hadn't heard anything from except for a single song played on the local college (Bowdoin) radio station. They completely blew me away. Their complex vocal melodies and superb structuring are among the best examples of true talent that I have ever witnessed. If any of you listers haven't heard them yet, I strongly suggest you go to great lengths and use any means necessary to aquire an album of theirs or see them live. And then there was Low. Beautiful, wonderful Low. Their set went something like this:

- Venus
- Condescend
- Be There
- Over the Ocean
- Lust
- Stay
- Shame
- Starfire
- Words
- Peanut Butter Toast and American Bandstand
- a new one (I'm assuming) most likely titled "Small Words"
- Lullaby

I was lucky enough to get a set list from Al, but it is'nt exactly complete and correct.

My favorite part of the evening was probably when Alan messed up on the beginning of "Words" and said to Zak, "It's only 3 chords, what's wrong with me?" right in the middle of the verse. I think this lightened things up quite a bit, which made for a much more enjoyable encore. Another funny little incident came earlier, when Zak was setting up the keyboard for one of the new songs, and he started one of the preset demo type things, with a weird bossonova beat or something, and Alan says, "Hey, Zak made his first joke!"

Like I said, an amazing show. And as I told Mimi, well worth the drive from Maine.

Jon Donnell

Well, I can't really add much to what Jon said; he covered most all of the bases. As promised, I was there, DAT taping, front row center, with my friend John...as we were unfamiliar with Ida, we used their set to 'soundcheck' for taping Low's set. (Good thing we did, as we had to muck around with matters for five minutes until I noticed, whilst we taped, that a fellow off to my right, who somewhat resembled Alan (whose permission I got to tape the show beforehand), was giving me an odd look. I'm still not sure who it was, and at the time I thought it might be a list member, but at the beginning of Low's set Alan announced that he was excited because his brother was seeing him play for the first time since Boise, so I wonder if that might've been a Sparhawk? Who knows...

The club was packed, standing room only. I'm surprised we managed to get such a good spot, but somehow (push push shove shove) we managed. There was some background noise coming from the other part of the club, where either another band or loud taped music was playing, but it was only really apparent when people opened the door. Also at one point, I think during Stay, some woman was talking in the back of the crowd, a bit too loudly and utterly inconsiderately. Quite a few of us, from the looks of it, were contemplating how to kill her when suddenly someone, I didn't see who, very loudly and pointedly shushed her. About 20 people turned around and smiled, myself included.

Personally, despite the fact that I missed all but three songs, the show I saw in March at Mama Kin (DOES ANYONE HAVE A TAPE OF THAT??? please email me if so, you don't even want to _know_ what I'd give for one ;-) had a much more powerful effect on me. I'd guess that's because a) it was the first time I saw Low, b) it was the first time I met the wonderfully kind Alan, c) it was much quieter and more physically comfortable and visually attractive there, d) I had just broken up with my girlfriend and needed that 8-10 minute version of Coattails, e) I knew a higher proportion of the songs I heard, f) I wasn't worrying about taping, which took 25-50% of my attention.

But still, I dug the show.

As for the tape...it came out beautifully. Sometimes it almost sounds studio-perfect...because the background noise was mostly behind me, the mic placement cuts a lot of it out. I'm going to get a lot of good listening, and I hope trading, out of this one...and I'd never audience-taped a show before! Traders, especially DAT traders, take note, write me. ;)


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