We watched Film School’s set and I’ve come away with the same impression every time. I won’t go into very many details but the mix is funky. It makes you miss key elements that help distinguish the melody of the songs. My guess is that the lead guitar is mixed too low. The poor guy wails away at it for 45 minutes, so for his sake we should be able to hear the damn thing more clearly!
Swervedriver impressed me. For a band who is known for a “wall of sound” and for being one of the big shoegaze bands of the 90s, their sound is very clean live. Especially in contrast to Film School, whom they influenced. You can easily distinguish the guitar playing, which I really didn’t expect. It has a more bluesy feel live, which is incredibly different than Film School’s performance.
Watching Adam Franklin play the guitar is mesmerizing. It’s not incredibly technical or difficult, but his phrasing and feel is outstanding. I have never thought this before but it reminded me of the late Chris Whitley. I saw Chris Whitley play once (or was it twice?) back in the mid 90s at The Bottom of the Hill. It took me a couple songs to place what Adam’s sound and playing style reminded me of but Chris Whitley was the name I was fishing for. He died of lung cancer in 2005 from many years of smoking.
Then it occurred to me that I saw Lush at the Fillmore in the 90s. Lush celebrated their drummer’s birthday that night. They brought out an Elvis impersonator too. A month later (more or less), the drummer killed himself.
So this made me realize how fortunate we were to be standing there watching a full on Swervedriver reunion, with all members enjoying themselves, along with the rest of the Fillmore.