Preview: SWANS @ Columbus Theatre 2.18.15
by Ben Stas (English/Journalism), published February 10th 2015
photos by Ben Stas
The unstoppable behemoth that is Michael Gira’s Swans barrels onward in 2015, storming the northeast with another tour which should appropriately reflect the ferocity of the winter weather that surrounds it. Assuming anyone is capable of digging out of their blizzard-engulfed homes next week to attend, the band will headline Providence’s lovely Columbus Theatre on the 18th.
Gira and his five fellow horsemen of the apocalypse are still technically touring behind last year’s towering double album To Be Kind, but if recent setlists are to be believed, the band is already neck-deep in road testing new material. As anyone who’s experienced the post-punk/post-rock/post-music titans on the road in the past few years can attest, this is nothing new for the ever-forward-thinking Swans. Three records into their post-reformation existence (two of them comfortably stretching past the 2-hour mark), they’re showing no signs of slowing down or looking back. All six band members pour an immeasurable amount of sweat and passion into their remarkable marathon live shows regardless of the material they’re performing, so these late tour cycle outings offer twin appeals: a preview of what’s to come from one of the world’s most consistently exciting bands and a demonstration of their always-reliable bone-crushing intensity. If you can make it out, it’ll be worth the trip.
Sweetening the deal will be an opening set from Xylouris White, the duo comprised of Dirty Three drummer Jim White and Cretan folk musician George Xylouris. Combining lute and percussion into something wholly unique, the two are sure to add an intriguing twist to the proceedings. Gira is always on-point with choosing progressive and transfixing openers (Xiu Xiu, Sir Richard Bishop, Wovenhand and Jenny Hval are among the recent Swans tour alums), and this time is no different. All told, this would be one of your weirder and better Wednesday nights of 2015.
Tickets are available online from the Columbus Theatre. And if you wish to stay in the Boston city limits and check out Xylouris White on their own, the duo will perform at Brookline’s Maliotis Cultural Center this coming Sunday.