On the cusp of its tour with Wovenhand, Git Some seemed in high form to win over at least a few people in the audience on Saturday night at the Marquis Theater. Less chaotic than earlier incarnations of the band, one thing that was immediately striking was how Neil Keener and Andrew Lindstrom, while laying down a dense and finely textured rhythm, both seemed swept up in the moment. Luke Fairchild wasn't as unhinged as other shows, but he made up for that with well-executed vocals and a seemingly greater sense of timing while also sometimes looking like he wasn't in full control of his body with the marionette-like gestures and spontaneous dancing. Chuck French had his usual clear guitar and played it with the fire, finesse and conviction of Black Flag-era Greg Ginn. The set ended on "Bought the Ticket, Take the Ride" with Fairchild flailing his limbs in time with the instrumental onslaught.
David Edwards came on to the stage looking part haggard voyager and part shaman with his white armband decorated in a pattern someone versed in Native American symbols of the Southwest might have recognized. On the floor between him and Pascal Humbert was a blanket similarly styled but with zig-zag patterns instead of square.
Opening with "Heart and Soul" by Joy Division, it was clear this was a more sonically robust line-up of the band and its opening up of certain sonic aspects of the song gave it atmospheric depth without losing the bracing and desperate feel of the original. Playing liberally from Wovenhand's latest record, the windswept and stirring Threshingfloor, the live versions of the songs were reworked as the kind of rock songs that bypass immediate analysis because the songwriting and use of sound is so outside convention. Rather than depending on a traditional melodic hook, the hook, such as it is, was the way Edwards and his band mates brought together elements into the overall soundscape and pulled away or added different textures and sounds to create an organic dynamism that could be introspectively calm or ragingly bombastic to match the emotional tenor Edwards cast with his vocals.
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Between some songs, Edwards seemed to chant in a Native American language when he wasn't crafting free verse poems to prepare the listener for the raw emotional expressions that characterize most of the band's material. Edwards regularly gestured unselfconsciously with his hand crawling up his face, sometimes covering one side or with fingers aflutter near his mouth while it looked like his eyes were rolled back into his head as though in a trance. It all made for a performance where Edwards seemed to have spirits flowing through him whether that is The Great Spirit, God/Allah or an elevated version of his own. Because he could be so caught up in the whirlwind of emotional fire and sonic expansiveness himself, Edwards pulled off an incredibly riveting performance that engaged the audience on all levels, once again proving himself one of the most gifted front musicians and frontmen ever to emerge from Denver.
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Bias: David Eugene Edwards is one of my favorite songwriters.
Random Detail: Ran into James McElwee, filmmaker of the upcoming Bob Ferbrache documentary, outside before the show.
By the Way: IBA is way too expensive, especially when you don't drink alcohol and only buy one to replace one you accidentally knocked over.