Pete Swanson / Ben Frost / Tim Hecker @ Club Los Globos; Los Angeles, CA
If you’d told me several months ago that one of the most anticipated concerts on my calendar was to be held at Club Los Globos, I would have laughed in your stupid face, called you a nerd, and given you an atomic wedgie. For as long as I’ve lived in LA (and for the seven years I lived in Echo Park) Globos was known — at least in my social circle — as the last place you wanted to party. It looked like fun from the outside with its bright lights and bleary-eyed club kids billowing out the door at 6am on a Saturday morning. During my marathon training long-runs I would see them getting into the backs of SUV limos as the sun was rising and envy them. But I never dared go in, except for that one time when everyone was already wasted and we just wanted to experience feeling out of place. I knew when the club changed ownership they were headed in a different direction (some friends had been asked to DJ or perform there) but I never expected something like THIS to happen THERE.
First of all, congrats to reader Bill who won the free tickets to the show. I didn’t get a chance to meet up with him so I can’t add him to the list of readers who have gotten drunk with me. Or watched me get drunk. That’s an illustrious honor. Reader Michael from Brooklyn has been there a few times. Stephen in Japan has been there. Jen from LA has been there. I think that might be it. Sorry, Bill. Next time.
Bill’s review of the show? “Ben Frost was quite good … Pretty sure my ass and/or ears are still bleeding.”
Although I’m not sure where Bill was during Pete Swanson’s set, I can tell you this: standing right next to Mr. Swanson is a pretty good way to lose your hearing. I’ve seen some loud shows before, and I’ve seen some shows before that left my ears ringing for days. In my youth I saw it as a badge of courage to stand in front of Stuart’s amp at a Mogwai show, or Takeshi at a Boris show, or Wolf Eyes, or Swans. But what Pete Swanson achieved last night might have topped all those guys. In a word, it was blistering. Maybe it was the tone. Maybe it was the throbbing low end. The ear-splitting volume he achieved was equally awesome and punishing. At a noise show with no visual element things can begin to feel stagnant. Pete Swanson need not worry about appearing dull. His sound envelopes you, can be felt with every party of your body, and leaves you feeling pummeled. And his was the first set of the evening.
Ben Frost exceeded expectations. Under cloak of darkness (Frost and Hecker played in almost absolutely blackness, sorry no photos) with scattered strobe flashes from above, with a bass and strings, Frost slayed pretty much all those in attendance. The bass sounded unreal, and again was immeasurably loud. This time I was off to the side of the stage, watching the strobes light up slivers of the crowd, again feeling that bass in my ears, in my eyes, and in my chest. A musical body high. Although not as jarring and anarchic as Pete Swanson, Frost’s set was another exercise in totally immersive noise.
Tim Hecker performed from up in the sound both, looking down on us plebians like an enlightened being. His face dimly lit by the glow of his laptop, he appeared a spectre floating above us. His set was a departure from the body blows delivered by Frost and Swanson. I would go so far as to describe it as “heady,” slow moving and ceaselessly shifting in tempo and dynamic. A melodic wave could transform into a gut-churning maelstrom without warning. It was a fantastic way to close the evening. Different, but the same. Also I was getting pretty drunk by the time his set wore to a close. You bump into people you know, they buy you whiskey because they know you well, and before you know it you’re waking up the next morning with a hangover. Fuck Judd Apatow, This Is Thirty.
Here’s some Ben Frost for you:
From someone else’s Instagram: Ben Frost / Tim Hecker
Ben Frost – A Crude Awakening [MP3]
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