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  1.  
    WIRE killed it at NY's Bowery Ballroom last night- scorching white hot set from start to finish. As I understand it they had a two day practice in the mid-west prior to the tour and their professionalism showed as the new songs ( Jesus and Dutchman) were seamlessly blended into the set . And you chaps in England are in for a treat when they get back as they're both very good indeed. No particular highlight for me- maybe Boiling Boy/ Spent/ Pink Flag at the end. A rather subdued Drill but that sounded just fine as well. Really the whole show was a highlight reel, it was that good, and like all great artists/ musicians that made it look/ sound effortless.

    The show was sold out (550 capacity) but there was plenty of elbow room. Good mix of old and young and very few people were texting/ talking through out the show, but Jesus, for such a high energy set the crowd was a bit on the subdued side. Great value for $20 so a lot of young kids got see the show, and considering top acts get up to $200 these days (Stones $650) it was more like a bargain basement price. As noted in another review they played Down To This in the 1st encore instead of Two People, which was on the set list, but for me it was just ok. I guess maybe it was meant to bookend Marooned and then contrast w the finale PF, but considering they have easily 100 songs that would have worked better it was a bit of a head scratcher. On the other hand the 10 minute PF noise version to close the show sounded brilliant. It's one of those songs I just never get tired of hearing.

    Bear in Heaven were the opening act and were quite good- sort of had a New Order meets expressionist jazz vibe. Excellent drummer.

    Thanks to WIRE for coming. Great show!
  2.  
    'Bear in Heaven were the opening act and were quite good'

    Seriously?! Saw them in DC, where they warmed up for Wire, and couldn't wait for it to be over. Yes, the drummer had some talent, but that was as far as it went. One simply strummed a bass and the other flicked some switches while both danced around like guitar heroes... the antithesis of Wire. And painfully loud... 150 decibels at the very least for no apparent reason other than they could. When Wire took the stage, their professionalism and vast superiority on every imaginable level only served to dwarf Bear in Heaven further.
  3.  
    I liked Bear In Heaven but I agree that it was wayyyyyyyyy too loud. Easily twice the volume of Wire. During the Philly show the bass was so loud that the singer's equipment failed and it led to a 20 minute delay before they played one last song. I thought that was really bad form for an opening band and it left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Opening acts need to learn that less is more when it comes to set lengths.
  4.  
    Yes Bear was quite good. I would go see them again. I didn't say great, amazing, fantastic. It wasn't painfully loud at all for me, and I rather enjoyed them as a warm up. In NY they played a concise 45 minute set w/o any delays. The singer wasn't half bad either. And their new record "I Love, It's Cool" is getting rave reviews. But, whatever. I saw people looking bored and yawning in the middle of WIRE's set. Go figure.
  5.  
    I didn't mind Bear In Heaven (and their volume levels appeared to be under control in Cambridge MA) but I did get tired of the singer/keyboardist's studied 80s singing, dancing and posturing. Felt like he lost out at the Duran Duran auditions and still hasn't gotten over it 35 years later.

    One or two of the songs approached interesting, but the others seemed like fairly routine 80s pop revival. I must say I liked Weekend a bit better a couple of years ago (they were better live than the record they were pushing at the time).

    But you could definitely do much worse as far as opening acts go.
  6.  
    So glad to hear the NYC show was as good as the Cambridge one! I've seen Wire 4 times (all post-2000, unfortunately), but I think this was the best I've seen.
  7.  
  8.  
    ...and someone taped it:
    http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=457884&viewcomm=6046533#comm6046533

    Setlist:
    01. [00:52] Intro
    02. [02:42] Marooned
    03. [05:01] Drill
    04. [04:31] Doubles & Trebles
    05. [03:41] Re-Invent Your Second Wheel
    06. [04:37] Blogging Like Jesus
    07. [04:07] Magic Bullet
    08. [03:37] Smash
    09. [03:41] Adore Your Island
    10. [03:25] As We Go
    11. [01:29] Another The Letter
    12. [04:22] Love Bends
    13. [05:15] Flying Dutch
    14. [04:09] Map Ref 41°N 93°W
    15. [02:21] Stealth Of A Stork
    16. [02:50] Attractive Space
    17. [07:11] Boiling Boy
    18. [01:40] Encore Break
    19. [02:37] Comet
    20. [05:41] Spent
    21. [01:31] Encore Break
    22. [07:13] Down To This
    23. [10:02] Pink Flag


    Total: 92:35

    Cheers,
    Jim.
  9.  
    Amusing that the Village Voice writer tries to make a point about misheard lyrics in Magic Bullet... and proceeds to get the actual lyrics wrong.

    "Out of my debt"?
  10.  
    dimeadozen is not taking new members right now (or ever it seems).
    How frustrating... it would be oh so very good to hear a complete show from this tour in decent sound instead of those so-so YouTube cellphone recordings. Maybe someday it will be a part of a future Legal Bootleg Series (in 2023).
  11.  
    @7jlong: Yep. If only there happened to be lyrics online somewhere, too, so journos could do a little fact-checking.
  12.  
    And the CMJ writer got the encore sequence wrong confusing Comet/ Spent w Pink Flag and Pink Flag w god knows what.

    All in all positive feedback though.
  13.  
    The new songs sound quite good and in an RBT vein. Great to see them return to the old days of using live performances as an opportunity to premiere and develop new material. However, neither Colin nor Graham seem to be in top voice in either the Bowery show or, especially, the Soundcheck tracks. The band sounds fantastic, but their voices were noticeably strained.
  14.  
    Strained voices/ sore throats seems to a common thing on all recent radio sessions and live recordings I've heard. Shame as C and G's voices are both distinctive in their own way.
  15.  
    Thanks for all the reports.
    Marooned!...:)...Thats one step closer to 'Used To'.......or not....
  16.  
    Re the strained vocals on the "Soundcheck" session - very true - but I feel that Graham's imperfections in the vocal of "ReInvent Your Second Wheel" gives the song an even greater emotional depth than the album version. I found the "Soundcheck" take exceptionally moving.
  17.  
    And this from the Pitchfork Fest in Chicago:

    Greg Knot-

    6:50 p.m.:" The race is on. Spurred by two drumsticks furiously clicked together, Wire chases imaginary prey with pulse-quickening rhythms, industrial interjections and serrated guitar riffs. Able to turn on a dime, the long-running English veterans move from nimble, flexible maneuvers to producing tornadoes of thick noise that strive to obliterate anything in their way. The set doubles as a lesson to many of the younger artists that have played the festival in years past as well as those that will in the coming days: This, kids, is how it should be done. Wire outlays an incredibly diverse array of music, tones and textures, all carefully considered and played with utmost precision. The band manages to also achieve the seemingly impossible: Make their instruments and vocals actually sound good in an open setting renowned for poor balances and weak amplification. Vocalist/guitarist Colin Newman looks at each song like a math professor analyzes a complex equation. Tremendous focus, creative purpose and fact-of-the-matter diligence define even his snarls and yelps. Art-punk dance twists, trash-compactor gurgling and processed effects loom in the foreground. Wire emerges as subversive anti-authoritarians, their moodiness and structures adhering to the same modernist architecture."
  18.  
    Pitchfork was indeed a glorious performance. Slightly abbreviated set (~45min), the band tore through it quickly, with great authority. The crowd, as far as the eye could see, was attentive, interested, and after the final blasts of "Spent", approving. If Coachella was bust, at Pitchfork Wire more than cashed in. Fantastic tour all around.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=411695458941333&l=61b1c9b0bd
  19.  
    That's a great slice of commentary from Knot.
  20.  
    Yeah, Craig well said. I thought so too. Here are some pics of WIRE playing in the blazing mid-west sun:

    http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2013/07/pitchfork_fest_10.html