Originally scheduled for Vicar Street, the gig was moved to the Button Factory when original headliner Explosions In The Sky were forced to cancel. The relatively small venue proved barely large enough to contain a sizeable crowd.
Support act Halves, from Dublin, have undergone one or 2 personnel changes in the last year but it hasn’t hindered their quietly impressive sound. The talented bunch were able to swap instruments yet maintain a meandering, haunting sound, with excursions into electronica reminiscent of Mùm and Sigurd Ros.
Low are an American ‘slow-core’ three-piece who have been on the go for nearly 20 years, building up an impressive body of work. With Alan Sparhawk’s guitar to the forefront, they opened with the punishing boil of Pissing. Other tracks like Witches and Nothing But Heart gave further room for electric guitar workouts. But even more impressive were Sparhawk and drummer Mimi Parker’s blindingly impressive harmonies on Sunflower, A Hand So Small and many others. The repeated mantras of the aforementioned Nothing But Heart allowed the audience to lose themselves in the music. Reaching back to debut album ‘I Could Live In Hope for Words’ and set-finisher Lullaby, the band displayed a breathtaking grasp of dynamics, the latter track almost unbearably tense as it crawled towards its climax.
Many tracks such as Murderer appear deceptively simple, this one building from a basic guitar, adding harmonies and Parker’s Moe Tucker like drumming. From Your Place On Sunset and When I Go Deaf saw Sparhawk turn Neil Young style guitar hero. The evening was really a pure musical experience. Sure they have a formula but with harmonies like that, it’s a compelling one.