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  1.  
    ---Set---
    Our Time
    Mr. Marx's Table
    Comet
    Being Sucked In Again
    -new- (sung by graham, chorus mentions "whole agenda" - Patient Flees?)
    Perspex Icon
    -new- (no clue here, riff recalls "I Don't Understand")
    The Afgers of Kodack
    -new- (mention of "galaxies & population" - Are You Ready?)
    One Of Us
    Boiling Boy
    The 15th
    106 Beats That
    I Don't Understand
    ---
    Lowdown
    12XU
    ---
    Pink Flag

    Lovely night, big crowd, lots of young folks (including myself, I'd like to think, at 22). First time seeing Wire, no idea what to expect. Band came out for "Our Time" and trepidation set in a little bit. Colin's voice was v. high in the mix and a bit forced, and Margaret's guitar was constantly feeding back. She soldiered on throughout the whole show, standing in different places, keeping noise constantly going into the pickups - one of the sound guys really should've helped her, but she did the best she could (the band lost its temper during "The 15th" when it just wouldn't stop, but shortly thereafter they managed to get it under control).

    Fortunately those are the only bad things I've got to say about the show. The rest was awesome, and after "Comet" you could feel the audience's pulse quicken. Nothing but good news on the Object 47 songs - perhaps my favorite songs in the show were the first two new ones, one sung by Graham and the other being "Perspex Icon", played live for the first time. Still energy-packed, a la the Send era, but highly melodic and allowing themselves more time to unwind. Judging by them, "One Of Us," while quite subtly catchy, is only a taste of what's ahead. "Boiling Boy" was riveting; for the young audience (again like me) who tend to think of Wire as a late 70s/early 00s band, it managed to capture the continued relevance of Wire's "second era" in a single song.

    Individual band members really stood out in terms of how well they complimented one another. Colin's voice snapped into high gear on "Comet" and never let up after, while it seemed like he knew exactly when to lay thick sheets of noise over songs and when to effectively pluck out minimalist duets with Margaret without even looking at her. Graham seemingly in v. good spirits, great bass throughout, looked younger than I'd expected (not just the hat, though I imagine that helps). Robert Grey in top shape - has taken to speeding up a few songs ("Mr. Marx," "Pink Flag") slowly as they go on, to great effect. Margaret an able and careful foil. The band is necessarily not as focused in sound as they were on the first two Read & Burn records, as you can't get that crisp unless you're in the studio playing with partial tones to get the sound you're looking for, but it seems by letting up a tad the band makes those moments of extreme focus really worth it in every song. You can feel the audience respond to what they're doing - again, citing "Boiling Boy" as an example, the tension was palpable.

    Quickly said "hi" to Colin & Graham at the end. Both very generous with the people that flocked around them to share stories/introduce children (are Wire "art-rock ambassadors" or something?), but I didn't have any exciting stories and was a little nervous so I just shook hands and said "great show." All the "bright young minds" following Wire ("the pitchfork crowd") keep mentioning how the band are "exactly where they want to be." It's great to see that this comfort's made them confident rather than complacent. Can't wait to see them again when the fall tour rolls around.
  2.  
    Thanks for that, cecarey.
  3.  
    "(are Wire "art-rock ambassadors" or something?)"

    Hmm - I guess they are, actually. :-)

    Many thanks for this. Great review.
    • CommentAuthortxc says...
    • (CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008 edited)
     
    I was also at the Seaport on Friday, and enjoyed the concert greatly, save for some tall people standing in front of me (and one jerk who was more interested in going back and forth to get more beer). I was a little shaky on some of the song titles, so thanks for posting the set list. I'll try to post more of my impressions regarding the show shortly. I looked for merch afterwards and found only CD's, but no shirts. Are Wire shirts available anywhere? Also, will Wire take up the practice of making their shows available for purchase online?

    Thanks,
    TXC
    • CommentAuthorcc says...
    • (CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008)
     
    thanks for the review, cecarey. Can I just ask what you mean by partial tones in the studio? Are you talking about eq?

    I was there too, with a friend, and totally agree with your main points; I'll just add a few impressions. Didn't expect the band would be greeting fans after the show! or I might have hung around. But like you, not sure what I would have said other than something embarrassingly fannish...

    the new songs were generally my highlights as well. The beginning of the set did seem hesitant, but the first song was well chosen then as a sort of warmup. The intensity quickly got breathtaking. "Boiling Boy" was superb--and a great selection. That was one of several numbers Margaret really shone on--did she have any sway on what was in the setlist? Her gear issues were noticeable for a few songs, but when she appealed to Colin, he kindly shrugged as if to say, sounds good enough! I guess the problem must have come with using unfamiliar, rented gear.

    another potential problem that became entertaining was the stage lights. I was surprised to see the lights spin and change colors like a "rock show," not to mention a squiggly icon on the underside of the tent over the stage. Finally after one number, Graham called out, "uhhh, Lighting Guy? Can you just take it down a bit? I'm going epileptic up here." Funny thing was, I would actually only say LG took it down half a notch after that. Also surprised that Wire wouldn't have sorted that out in advance.

    a couple of the Pink Flag tunes were for me flatter than the rest of the set, though they did immediately set off a small mosh pit in front of the stage. But the finale, "Pink Flag," was fantastic, as was the whole event. Looking forward to the fall, and the new album.
  4.  
    i have to say it was a fantastic show, tech problems aside. the band just blasted through the set and all the songs were excellent choices. i love the Send era stuff and the Pink Flag selections sounded amazing! the new songs also sounded very good. someone correct me if i'm wrong, but wasn't "germ ship" also in the setlist (at the beginning)?.........the lights were indeed extremely annoying, not only for the band, but also where i was standing as well. i hope they get this corrected for future shows as South St is a great open air venue to see a show. The pier was packed btw; surprising because this show didn't have much advanced publicity. also i thought the stage could have been raised a bit higher in order to have better overall sight lines.

    i'm also bit surprised they don't tour more often. they are truly an amazing band that doesn't sound quite like anything else out there. their sound is that distinctive. very enjoyable show!