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Shoegaze/slowcore double bill proves perfectly sleepy/dreamy
SLOWDIVE and LOW at the Danforth Music Hall, Tuesday, October 28. Rating: NNNNN
Confession: I went to see Low, who I like more than Slowdive, at least on paper. And, predictably, the slowcore three-piece from Minnesota were measured and deliberate and snoozy and beautiful. Then shoegaze slack-gods Slowdive skulked onstage, for the first Toronto show in 20 years. And they ruled.
They played in front of a dozen-or-so canted projection screens – the visuals perfectly heightening the band’s dreamy sonic swirling – turning the concert into a full-on experience. (Closing your eyes, the kaleidoscopic graphics and pulsing strobes produced an effect similar to what happens when you rub your palms into your eyes when they’re shut.) Unlike contemporaries My Bloody Valentine, seeing Slowdive live never felt like an assault. The songs never rattled your bones, but that just allowed them to play better between the ears. The five-piece played Catch The Breeze and Machine Gun and closed with their cover of Syd Barrett’s Golden Hair – carrying the crowd away on their swelling eddies of fuzz and noise.
Then they encored with Albatross and 40 Days, and even those of us way too young to have waited two decades felt like it was worth the delay.