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Godspeed You! Black Emperor

LIVE REVIEW: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Den Grå Hal, 02.11.15

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor

The last time Godspeed You! Black Emperor played in Copenhagen we were seated in plush velvet theatre seats, trying to reconcile their apocalyptic symphonies with the bright lights and cheer of Tivoli outside. But tonight the venue is much more appropriate. The wooden roof of Christiania’s Den Grå Hal towers above us, the air is chilly, and the nauseating smell of burnt sugar is thankfully absent.

The evening starts with the looping guitar drones of Bhutanese musician Tashi Dorji. Hunched over his instrument, face obscured by a black hoodie, Dorji abuses the strings into producing a wall of sound that grows to painful levels. Several audience members retreat outside to smoke and save their eardrums for the main event.

Tashi Dorji

After the slow initial buildup of “Hope Drone”, GY!BE immediately settle nerves by launching into the first two movements of “Storm”: never fear, ladies and gentlemen, we will not be denied the classics. You can tell by the nods people give each other at the beginning of each song that albums like Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven! and F#a#infinity are deeply ingrained since adolescence, but when GY!BE play one doesn’t have so much the sense of reliving younger days, but of tapping back into something that always felt timeless.

The middle section of the performance is taken up by the full playthrough of the band’s latest album, Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress, which features some surprisingly upbeat sections. The first, “Peasantry or ‘Light! Inside of Light!'”, for all its initial stoner-rock plodding, eventually starts to sound not entirely unlike a weird, drone-y performance of “Norwegian Wood”. Try listening to them back to back, you’ll see. In quieter moments, such as “Lambs’ Breath”, your eyes are drawn up to the projections behind the band. Possibly the only band in the world to have their own dedicated projectionist, GY!BE are illuminated by loops of grainy 16mm footage. A lonely stag on a dark road, fields of corn, Revivalist churches, cop cars, factories on fire.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

People my age have grown up in an era obsessed with post-apocalypical stories, but when someone uses that word, I never think of Mad Max, or The Road, or zombie movies, but rather the cover of F#a#infinity. And as the band  concludes its two-hour set with “The Sad Mafioso” section of “East Hastings”, it seems obvious that for many of us these aren’t allegorical warnings, but perversely exciting possibilities.

PHOTOS: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Grå Hal, 02.11.2015

in Photos by
Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

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Tashi Dorji (support)

Tashi Dorji

Photos of the year 2013

in Blog/Photos by

The Hives

The Hives, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 31.01.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

The_Men-9

The Men, Stengade, Copenhagen, 21.03.2013 (Photo by Morten Krogh)

The Soft Moon, Loppen, Copenhagen, 30.03.2013 (Photo by Morten Krogh)

Shout Out Louds, Lille Vega, Copenhagen, 09.04.2013 (Photo by Hilmar Darri Flygenring)

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Folkeklubben, Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, 25.04.2013 (Photo by Morten Krogh)

Autre Ne Veut

Autre Ne Veut, Rust, Copenhagen, 23.04.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Daughter

Daughter, Lille Vega, Copenhagen, 10.04.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Japandroids

Japandroids, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 03.04.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Jake Bugg

Jake Bugg, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 02.04.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Palma Violets

Palma Violets, BETA, Copenhagen, 31.03.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Schultz and Forever

Schultz and Forever, DR Byen, Copenhagen, 03.03.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Araab Muzik

Araab Muzik, KB3, Copenhagen, 08.03.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Metz

Metz, Ideal Bar, Copenhagen, 04.03.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Crystal Castles

Crystal Castles, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 02.03.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Cody

Cody, Store Vega, 01.03.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Widowspeak

Widowspeak, Loppen, Copenhagen, 08.05.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Øresundsfestival 2013

Øresundsfestival, Malmö, 10.05.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Øresundsfestival 2013

The Eclectic Moniker, Øresundsfestival, Malmö, 10.05.2013 (Photo by James Hjertholm)

Øresundsfestival 2013

Broke, Øresundsfestival, Malmö, 11.05.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Øresundsfestival 2013

MØ, Øresundsfestival, Malmö, 11.05.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Øresundsfestival 2013

Iceage, Øresundsfestival, Malmö, 11.05.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Øresundsfestival 2013

The White Album, Øresundsfestival, Malmö, 11.05.2013 (Photo by James Hjertholm)

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen, Parken, Copenhagen, 14.05.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Bring Me The Horizon

Bring Me The Horizon, Amager Bio, Copenhagen, 18.05.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Beach Fossils

Beach Fossils, Stengade, Copenhagen, 21.05.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Nick Cave

Nick Cave, Optimus Primavera Sound, Porto, 31.05.2013 (Photo by Janye Yong)

blur

Blur, Optimus Primavera Sound, Porto, 31.05.2013 (Photo by Janye Yong)

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Grizzly Bear, Optimus Primavera Sound, Porto, 01.06.2013 (Photo by Janye Yong)

A$AP Rocky (Photo by Tom Spray)

A$AP Rocky, Falconer Salen, Copenhagen, 11.06.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Mew (Photo by Tom Spray)

Mew, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 12.06.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

The National (Photo by Tom Spray)

The National, Loppen, Copenhagen, 20.06.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Trash Talk (Photo by Tom Spray)

Trash Talk, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 27.06.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Drenge (Photo by Tom Spray)

Drenge, Roskilde Festival, 04.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Savages (Photo by Tom Spray)

Savages, Roskilde Festival, 04.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Slipknot (Photo by Tom Spray)

Slipknot crowd, Roskilde Festival, 04.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Animal Collective (Photo by Tom Spray)

Animal Collective, Roskilde Festival, 04.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Metz (Photo by Tom Spray)

Metz, Roskilde Festival, 05.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

EL-P (Photo by Tom Spray)

EL-P, Roskilde Festival, 05.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Iceage (Photo by Tom Spray)

Iceage, Roskilde Festival, 06.07.2013

Action Bronson (Photo by Tom Spray)

Action Bronson, Roskilde Festival, 06.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

The National (Photo by Tom Spray)

The National, Roskilde Festival, 06.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Metallica (Photo by Tom Spray)

Metallica, Roskilde Festival, 06.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Sigur Ros (Photo by Tom Spray)

Sigur Ros, Roskilde Festival, 06.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

James Blake (Photo by Tom Spray)

James Blake, Roskilde Festival, 07.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (Photo by Tom Spray)

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Roskilde Festival, 07.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Queens Of The Stone Age (Photo by Tom Spray)

Queens Of The Stone Age, Roskilde Festival, 07.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Kraftwerk (Photo by Tom Spray)

Kraftwerk, Roskilde Festival, 07.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Kraftwerk (Photo by Tom Spray)

Kraftwerk crowd, Roskilde Festival, 07.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

John Legend (Photo by Tom Spray)

John Legend, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 16.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Sleep Party People (Photo by Tom Spray)

Sleep Party People, Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, 27.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

The Smashing Pumpkins Photos by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

The Smashing Pumpkins, Falconer Salen, 31.07.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

OFF Festival

OFF Festival, Katowice, Poland (Photo by Tom Spray)

OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

OFF Festival, Katowice, Poland (Photo by Tom Spray)

AlunaGeorge, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

AlunaGeorge, OFF Festival, Katowice, Poland (Photo by Tom Spray)

Cloud Nothing, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Cloud Nothings, OFF Festival, Katowice, Poland (Photo by Tom Spray)

Scenes, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

OFF Festival, Katowice, Poland (Photo by Tom Spray)

Julia Holter, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Julia Holter, OFF Festival, Katowice, Poland (Photo by Tom Spray)

The Walkmen, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

The Walkmen, OFF Festival, Katowice, Poland (Photo by Tom Spray)

Autre Ne Veut, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Autre Ne Veut, OFF Festival, Katowice, Poland (Photo by Tom Spray)

Japandroids, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Japandroids crowd, OFF Festival, Katowice, Poland (Photo by Tom Spray)

We draw A, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

We draw A, OFF Festival, Katowice, Poland (Photo by Tom Spray)

Fucked Up, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Fucked Up, OFF Festival, Katowice, Poland (Photo by Tom Spray)

My Bloody Valentine, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

My Bloody Valentine, OFF Festival, Katowice, Poland (Photo by Tom Spray)

Japandroids, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Japandroids, OFF Festival, Katowice, Poland (Photo by Tom Spray)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Photos by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen, 07.08.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

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Ice Cream Cathedral, Lille Vega, Copenhagen, 07.08.2013 (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Haim

Haim, Lille Vega, Copenhagen, 07.08.2013 (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Tame Impala - Photo by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

Tame Impala, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 09.08.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Dirty Beaches - Photo by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

Dirty Beaches, Copenhagen, 11.08.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Mikal Cronin - Photo by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

Mikal Cronin, Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, 11.08.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Ducktails - Photo by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

Ducktails, Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, 11.08.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

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Trans Metro Express, Strøm Festival, 13.08.2013 (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

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The Haxan Cloak, Cisternerne, Copenhagen, 14.08.2013 (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

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Ice Cream Cathedral, Malmo Festival, Road Trip, 17.08.2013 (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

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Baby In Vain, Malmo Festival, Road Trip, 17.08.2013 (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

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David Byrne & St Vincent, Falconer Salen, Copenhagen, 22.08.2013 (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

MS MR Live 1

MS MR, Rust, Copenhagen, 28.08.2013 (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Matthew E. White (Photo by Jen Tse)

Matthew E. White, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 09.09.2013 (Photo by Jen Tse)

APlaceToBuryStrangers-2063

A Place To Bury Strangers, Loppen, Copenhagen, 24.09.2013 (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Delorean (Photo by Jen Tse)

Delorean, Lille Vega, Copenhagen, 25.09.2013 (Photo by Jen Tse)

Editors (Photo by Tom Spray)

Editors, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 26.09.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

MGMT (Photo by Jen Tse)

MGMT, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 01.10.2013 (Photo by Jen Tse)

James Blake (Photo by James Hjertholm)

James Blake crowd, Falconer Salen, Copenhagen, 06.10.2013 (Photo by James Hjertholm)

Baby In Vain (Photo by Jen Tse)

Baby In Vain, Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, 04.10.2013 (Photo by Jen Tse)

Washed Out - Photo by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

Washed Out, Lille Vega, Copenhagen, 09.10.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Foals (Photo by Tom Spray)

Foals, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 15.10.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Julianna Barwick (Photo by Tom Spray)

Julianna Barwick, Jazzhouse, Copenhagen, 20.10.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Biffy Clyro by Jen Tse

Biffy Clyro, Den Grå Hal, Copenhagen, 01.11.2013 (Photo by Jen Tse)

national 1

The National, Forum, Copenhagen, 02.11.2013 (Photo by James Hjertholm)

JuliaHolter-5362

Julia Holter, Jazzhouse, Copenhagen, 05.11.2013 (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

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Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Falconer Salen, Copenhagen, 08.11.2013 (Photo by Jonas Bang)

14. okt 13 80_o

The Woken Trees, UK tour (Photo by Jonas Bang)

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Crystal Stilts, Stengade, Copenhagen, 14.11.2013 (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

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Fuck Buttons, Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, 16.11.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Volcano Choir (Photo by Tom Spray)

Volcano Choir, Amager Bio, Copenhagen, 18.11.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Youth Lagoon (Photo by Jen Tse)

Youth Lagoon, Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, 20.11.2013 (Photo by Jen Tse)

EL-P and Killer Mike (Photo by Tom Spray)

EL-P and Killer Mike, Lille Vega, Copenhagen, 20.11.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

The Tallest Man On Earth (Photo by Tom Spray)

The Tallest Man On Earth, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 21.11.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Get Your Gun (Photo by Jonas Bang)

Get Your Gun, Russia/Estonia tour, fall 2013 (Photo by Jonas Bang)

Trentemøller (Photo by James Hjertholm)

Trentemøller, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 22.11.2013 (Photo by James Hjertholm)

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Blouse, Loppen, Copenhagen, 26.11.2013 (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

MØ (Photo by James Hjertholm)

MØ, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 28.11.2013 (Photo by James Hjertholm)

Queens Of The Stone Age (Photo Jen Tse)

Queens Of The Stone Age, Forum, Copenhagen, 29.11.2013 (Photo by Jen Tse)

Destroyer (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Destroyer, Jazzhouse, Copenhagen, 03.12.2013 (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Kurt Vile (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Kurt Vile, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 05.12.2013 (Photo by Ivan Boll)

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Oh Land, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 12.12.2013 (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Cut Copy (Photo by Tom Spray)

Cut Copy, Lille Vega, Copenhagen, 13.12.2013 (Photo by Tom Spray)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor | Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen, 07.08.2013

in Photos by

Photos by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Photos by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Photo by Tom Spray

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Photos by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Photos by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Photos by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Photos by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Photo by Tom Spray

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Photos by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

OFF Festival 2013, Katowice, Poland

in Photos by

Photos by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Teenagers

Teenagers, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Teenagers, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Drekoty

Drekoty, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Stara Rzeka

Stara Rzeka, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Hokei

Hokei, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Mikal Cronin

Mikal Cronin, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Dope Body

Dope Body, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Cloud Nothing

Cloud Nothing, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

The Soft Moon

The Soft Moon, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Girls Against Boys

Girls Against Boys, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Guardian Alien

Guardian Alien, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

The Smashing Pumpkins

The Smashing Pumpkins, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

AlunaGeorge

AlunaGeorge, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Piotr Kurek

Piotr Kurek, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Piotr Kurek, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Scenes, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Metz

Metz, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Metz, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Merchandise

Merchandise, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band

The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

KTL

KTL, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Julia Holter

Julia Holter, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Scenes, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

The Walkmen

The Walkmen, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

God Speed You Black Emperor, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

God Speed You Black Emperor, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Zeni Geva

Zeni Geva, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

We draw A

We draw A, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Autre Ne Veut

Autre Ne Veut, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Autre Ne Veut, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Japandroids

Japandroids, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Japandroids, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Japandroids, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Fucked Up

Fucked Up, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Thee Oh Sees

Thee Oh Sees, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Thee Oh Sees, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Scenes, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Deerhunter

Deerhunter, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

Goat

Goat, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

My Bloody Valentine

My Bloody Valentine, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

John Talabot

John Talabot, OFF Festival (Photo by Tom Spray)

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