Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Les Docks; Lausanne, Switzerland

Time Audio Visual
0.00 A tensed, sustained drone emanating from strings and wavering from one restive pitch to the next. Abstracted close-up of moving tire tread, sporadically blacking out to reveal the word “hope” in scrawled lettering; discreet entrances from side of stage.
5.00 The same drone, thickened with guitar feedback, interpenetrated by the rattling of drums. The same tire tread, transitioning into brightened sky, panning down to mountainous heap of garbage and industrial waste.
9.40 Resolute three-note bass line, capped by shimmering waves of guitar and violin, consummated by majestic detonation of heavy guitars. Black-and-white footage of lorries pushing along desolate bridge; a scrapheap receiving tribute from a magnetic crane; a Canadian nine-piece collective shrouded in equalizing obscurity.
14.15 Anticipatory chiming double stop, emergent violin breaths. Expanse of dirty water bordering industrial estate/wasteland, its surface misshaping rusted iron and smoldering concrete.
20.30 Rushing orchestra of syncopated guitars and sleepless drums, coalescing into a reprise of the earlier “majestic detonation” and then reducing to the poised “three-note bass line.” The same unrelenting cranes, diggers, scrapheaps, lorries, and bridges, occasionally reflected in the pool of rippling water, later erased by a blank sky.

Time Audio Visual
26.15 Ringing metallophone and Asiatic strings, crushed by gigantic frequencies of distortion. Scattered blueprints of machinery and industrial equipment, of the technological bases of particular economic systems and forms of human existence; the word “clamp” appearing and reappearing several times.
32.00 Irrational 4/4 guitar expletives, asymmetrically winding through non-Western scale, in defiance of symmetrical Western straitjackets. Flashes of rotated, inverted and illegible documents, intermittently layered with mugshots of the persecuted and the criminal; a prostrate corpse; foot-tapping and head-banging guitarists.
36.50 Doomed power chords, translucent violin notes evaporating into the air above submissive audience. Files burning slowly, circles of heat expanding to delete the records these files keep on the world; a dim stage in which the absence of light makes it difficult to see who’s doing what; a dim stage on which it’s difficult to determine roles, hierarchies, and power structures.
40.30 See-sawing bass has a premonition of martial percussion, oscillating violin wisps, and aggravated riff. More documents, letters, doodles, drawings, buildings, and abstract photographs, flitting from one to the next in excess of Reason.

Time Audio Visual
44.29 Throbbing strums of clean six-string, a violin motif deepening/heightening their mood of nostalgia and reverie. Plants and their leaves trembling in the wind, ribbons of sunlight washing down on them.
48.44 Beautifully deceptive change of tone, inflecting the bass with a foreboding that’s conveyed to a fuzzy lead and glacial surroundings, and that’s converted into weighty stop-start punches of guitar. Yellow leaves in stark relief, supplanted by a batch of inviolable trees, then another unending body of water; undemonstrative band members commingling with three projectors and clotted hundreds to form sublime object.
58.32 Tireless keening, budding out of naturalistic tranquility and hurtling through swagger and drum-rolls into planet-sized coruscation. Passage through and outside of rail tunnels, in reverse.
Time Audio Visual
65.18 Lumbering double-drum attack, magnified by the über-blues of a colossal guitar-wall, which smooths from chord to chord with as much ire as grace. Scrolling tape reels, fluttering and fading out in a perpetual loop.
69.08 Elated chorus of guitar swoops and violin trills, its humble triumph pulling at darkened musicians on their seats, as well as the upright sardines before the stage. The same.
72.57 Calmed contemplation sliding along the fretboard in assurance of its own rectitude and propriety, finding weightless confirmation in the song of nearby fingerboard. Sideswiping exposures of a distant and isolated building, stranded in the middle of nowhere.
79.00 Ominous atmospheric hum, windy sheets flowing through each other without ever meeting. Static shot of same building in desolate prairie, doubled via twin projections and superimposed by ephemeral outlines of itself.
83.00 Hanging clouds suspended by three guitars and two basses, portentously condensing into a funereal procession, then releasing itself into euphoric affirmation of an undying spirit. A shoreline, on which a solitary middle-aged man walks toward the disappearing horizon; closeups of same man, looking tired and bemused.
89.38 Grave yet determined progression-escalation from fragile beginnings, aware of the predicament yet mulishly unfazed. Darkened highways, replete with telegraph poles and telephone cables, fracturing in a thousand directions.
Time Audio Visual
96.31 Delicate single-string melody, inflated by hovering guitar effects and falling symbols, recognized by select members of the Lausanne crowd. Out-of-focus police lights, coming into focus to reveal the intimidating uniformity of a police convoy.
102.56 Single-string melody accelerates and panics, before collapsing at the feet of mourning cello and violin, before returning in concert with the evening’s sole appearance of the human voice. Prices for commodities available on the world’s markets, including “hogs,” “soya beans,” and “ore.”
107.00 Agitated flourishes of loosened violin bow, whipping up an underlying turbulence into a full-on storm of churning guitar. Wall Street, people protesting on.

Time Audio Visual
0.00-113.51 Constancy, coherence. Inconstancy, incoherence.

Setlist:

01. Hope Drone/[new song]
02. Mladic
03. [new song]
04. Behemoth, aka Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress
05. East Hastings

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