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11/4/14

BITS OF SOUND: Slowdive finally returns to the Motor City - Words/Pics by Pewter Cub's Scott Sanford






Bits of Sound is an ongoing music review column 
written by alternating local musicians from the Motor City.

This week is Scott Sanford of Pewter Cub 
covering the band Slowdive live at The Majestic Theatre Detroit.

On a suitably autumnal evening last Wednesday, English shoegaze legends Slowdive returned to Detroit, nearly 20 years after their last appearance in the Motor City. Neil Halstead and company have returned from a long hiatus after dissolving in 1995 shortly after the release of their swan song album Pygmalion. Despite hearing that Detroit was the only city on their 20 date North American tour that did not sell out, The Majestic Theater was packed to the gills.
The crowd was filled with anticipation for a performance 
most of us thought we'd never get to see.
Openers Low set a chill mood with their minimal arrangements and soft tunes which helped build anticipation for the main course. As soon as Slowdive took the stage they engulfed the crowd with waves of stunning power that took hold and didn't let up until over an hour later. The band played a career spanning set, the bulk of which came from their most recognized album Souvlaki. Highlights included "When the Sun Hits", show closer "40 Days" and a cover of Syd Barrett's "Golden Hair". Their perfectly processed guitars and haunting vocals sounded flawless. The stage was decked out with an impressive amount of projection screens showing dreamy imagery such as floating eyes and flashing colors and a light show that would make Pink Floyd jealous.
Their songs always had a trance-like quality, but live, the hypnotic tones and beautiful melodies had the ability to capture the listener in their web. Each song felt as if it could continue on forever and
you wouldn't really mind. Maybe it was my proximity to the speakers but the volume of the band felt like it could shatter my skeleton at any moment.
2014 finds Slowdive alive and well and sounding as good as you could have hoped. They haven't lost their power to amaze. This is one of those shows that will stay with me for some time. Rumor has it they are going to put out a new record. Based on the show they put on last week, odds are it's going to be pretty awesome.