The beautiful songs, minimalist execution, sonic explosion of Low left me speechless last night. I knew this concert, at the Ritz PDB on Jean-Talon Street, would be a good one. It was even better than great. Low’s albums are no less than gorgeous. Their latest, “Ones and Sixes“, that came out just a few weeks ago on Sub Pop Records, on September 11, might be the best I’ve heard all year.

Yesterday night, the Duluth trio delivered high quality music. The crowd was slowly drifting to their soft vocal harmonies. Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker have such collusion that their voices seem to find each other. Like a growing plant that wraps around its prop, they just blend into their magnificent melodies.

Sparhawk’s guitar playing was also a key element of the concert. Often, a very soft touch of his electric guitar is what is required to nail his minimalist approach to music. And sometimes, he would crank the volume to 10 and play with commanding and beautiful distortion that created noble musical landscapes for long minutes. In softness or high volume, Low’s music was always exquisite.

Mimi Parker’s drumming and Steve Garrington’s touch on bass and keyboard was exactly where it needed to be. Less hits and notes, but the right ones at the right time. Lou Reed and Erik Satie would have been proud (and in awe as much as I was).

Here’s their Israel concert, from last January.

 

I usually write my concert reviews directly on my iPhone, during the concert, capturing emotions, thoughts and taking notes on the night’s set list as the band plays. But not this time. I spent the concert eyes closed, just feeling the music, getting immersed by this ravishing beauty. It was somehow a spiritual experience more than a musical one. “Wow” was the only word that came out when lights came back on at the Ritz, close to 1 AM.

Thank you, Low.

LOW was playing at Bar Le Ritz PDB, in Montreal, on September 22nd, 2015

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier

Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur-en-chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie “Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique” en 2013, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016.