Swans, Okkyung Lee | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Swans, Okkyung Lee Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Image

When: July 15-16, 11 p.m. 2016

Swans just released The Glowing Man (Young God), their 24th album since 1982, and the fourth and final studio record of their current incarnation. Like its two immediate predecessors, The Seer (2012) and To Be Kind (2014), The Glowing Man is a triple LP that lasts two hours, and recent Swans performances—replete with feverish chants and thunderheads of guitar noise suspended over heavy, supple grooves—tend to last even longer than that. There’s nothing like the extraordinary tension and ecstatic release their command of dynamics and scale achieves, but you can’t keep climbing the holy mountain forever, and bandleader Michael Gira has announced that while he’ll continue to use the name “Swans,” he won’t necessarily keep the same personnel or tour as much. The lineup has already changed slightly: keyboardist Paul Wallfisch takes the place of multi-instrumentalist Thor Harris (who’s on sabbatical), and he’ll join guitarist Norman Westberg, steel guitarist Christoph Hahn, drummer Phil Puleo, and bassist Christopher Pravdica. Opening both nights is improvising cellist Okkyung Lee, who appears on the new record’s “Cloud of Unknowing,” but at press time there’s no word on whether or not she’ll join Swans onstage to perform it.

Bill Meyer

Price: $32, $28 in advance

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