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La Luna, Portland, OR
Saturday, 12 September 1998

the last time low blew through, i had to work. i understand they played a beautiful show at the stage four theatre for fifty people. the way things is going, it'll be a rare experience to see them play for that few people anytime in the future, so i wasn't going to be missing last night's show...

high on a grip of grub from the delta cafe (southern soul food) and a lot of hash, i arrived early enough to grab good seating. i was able to sink into the opener's set: sarah somebody... begins with a d. she played a mean gibson hollowbody and had solid songwriting. kristin hershesque vocals but without the catty growl. i liked her a lot, and am looking forward to hearing some of her studio based work... i would certainly suggest checking her out if i could remember her name...

i've heard and seen swoon 23 in the past, but it was a considerably long time ago. quite good, another harkening back to the velvet's, but in this day and age, everybody comes off a little velvety in one fashion or the next. the bass distortion pedal broke and the sound kind of tightened up a little. a little something else to shop for.

the show was in la luna's balcony, while wonderously intimate is totally shittily ventilated. either their ac/fans weren't working, or low fans smoke too damn much.

low came on at about 11:30 to open up with 'be there', zak kneeling on the ground to play keys. from there i remember: landlord, condecend, a new song (or one i don't recognize), violence (which they played as a solicited shouted request!) shame, lord, can you hear me?... and from there i slipped into a sheer low bliss. the next event i clearly remember was al saying "night y'all" after a nice ten minute 'do you know how to waltz'-style dripping guitar manipularama...

at one point, when people were shouting requests (i heard a lot of lazy's! and words!) someone suggested 'spacemen 3 tribute!' to which al replied: 'we already played that... are you kidding? it's our whole set!'

'let's get this dance party started'.

i've been listening to a lowtape i made about a year ago, and i'll keep hearing moments of last night that come back like a lucid dream. it's pretty dope.

take care.

cameron bowden

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