This year, amazing live shows for this writer in South Florida have been sporadic at best (discounting the almost holy experience of watching a band re-create Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway live with near time machine precision). But a pair of stand outs included a couple of sublime affairs by today’s most reputable independent artists: Radiohead and Bon Iver. As it turns out “Austin City Limits” will kick off its 38th season on PBS with these two bands, beginning Oct. 6. See the full announcement by jumping through the logo below:
These two bands will certainly offer for great, interesting television as far as live bands go. Their music is both complex and subtle, and the amount of musicians to reproduce their tunes live should offer for an exciting sight as well as sound.
I have already written breathlessly enough about Radiohead live on this blog. The first time I saw them live was as opening act to Belly in the early 90s, and the memory has stayed firm. There is also, of course, my rushed and messy but passionate Radiohead live review from earlier this year, which I have allowed to stand as testament to the horrors of the rush to get news out to the Internet, as much as I would like to revise and re-write it. This one of the best songs I caught live, “Separator,” off the new album:
Radiohead kicked off the US leg of its world-wide tour in Miami supporting the King of Limbs, it’s highly undervalued new album (It’s too short, it’s too mellow, protested many). The band cherry-picked some choice songs from its catalog for a mood befitting the delicate beauty of their new album. They played the best show I ever saw in the monstrosity of the AmericanAirlines Arena that night (see above, entrancing 6-minute song). The post went viral (by this blog’s standards) due to the fact that I was one of the first few who recorded the new song “Identikit” live and “Rolling Stone” featured the video on its website. Here’s that video featuring that song, which is sure to have evolved in its form since its debut live:
More recently I caught Bon Iver at the lovely, intimate Fillmore Miami Beach/Jackie Gleason Theater. I never wrote a review here, as the next morning saw me rushing out of the city to catch an early flight. I regret that.
By the time they arrived in Miami Beach, Bon Iver was long and deep into its tour for its brilliant 2011 self-titled album. There live shows had become old news on the Internet, as had its album. However, they still enthralled this mostly virginal Bon Iver-live crowd (It was the first time the band visited the area). Man, could this band perform. Though the music is subtle and mostly tranquil, it also has a majesty and grandiosity unmatched by many other bands. It takes nine guys on stage to re-create the music with justice to the studio recordings, and each one of these musicians are always doing something interesting to watch. Throw in an ingenious screen that looks like a giant cobweb hanging off the ceiling and project some images as a kaleidoscope of lights shift and shimmer over the stage, and the show becomes quite a dynamic experience.
I only bothered to record one video (my first in HD!) that night because I was too mesmerized by the rest of the show. It was the last song of the night, “For Emma:”
But click on over to the “Austin City Limits” website. They have already put up two videos featuring two songs from the Radiohead set that are not hard to find.