Low at Larimer Lounge, 12/18/10
Noah Van Sciver
With Charlie Parr
12.18.10 | Larimer Lounge
Fellow Minnesotan Charlie Parr opened the show and brought a classic blues and folk sensibility to his performance. It was a pretty minimalistic, stripped down set-up but if you paid attention to what Parr was doing on guitar, it was intricate, but never busy, melodies with leads mixed in with rhythm playing at once. Real blues players and folkies have pulled that stunt for decades, but getting to see it live and done this well was a rare treat.
For his part, Parr looked like he could have come from that area of the "Cumberland Gap," and his own material (like "Bethlehem" and "Cheap Wine") sounded as classic as any of his covers. Even so, hearing a Blind Blake song ("Rope Stretchin' Blues") was a pleasant surprise. His use of the Resonator gave each note a rustic glean that reverberated with an authenticity that a lot of latter day blues players try to achieve but rarely do.
Noah Van Sciver
This was the last day of Low's mini-tour, but you wouldn't know it with the high spirits in which Alan Sparhawk seemed to perform. The band opened with the chilling yet electrifying "Monkey," and it didn't even matter that the penetrating, otherworldly keyboard part heard in the original didn't appear to be part of the mix of sounds.
Low played the song with a controlled intensity you'd expect out of anyone playing that song. It seemed entirely appropriate that another song from the same album, the title track, "The Great Destroyer," followed with quiet and dignified energy as one of the few songs in rock to be so hushed and so powerful at the same time.