So tonight's finally the night. Guided By Voices at First Avenue. Normally I take a jaundiced view of these reunion tours. Usually the band is clearly just looking to cash in and playing the hits for anyone who wasn't old enough or cool enough to see them the first time around. That's why I avoided both the Pixies' and more recently, Pavement's recent tours -- even though I never saw either of those great bands in their prime. But for me, this is different.
I came to GBV late. One day in 2006, Mary Lucia of the Current played Motoraway, saying that GBV was one of her all time favorite bands. I remember listening and thinking that I've heard a couple of GBV songs, what's the big fuss? I did a little research, found out that Bee Thousand was considered a classic lo-fi album and I picked it up. The first song sounds like it was recorded on a little 4 track recorder in someone's basement. Which it was. A cool guitar solo all of sudden is gone and then back, just like if someone had accidentally pulled the cord out of the amp. After just a few listens I was hooked. From there I couldn't get enough GBV and now have over 400 songs (including Robert Pollard releases) on my I-pod, a couple of DVDs, a book, etc.
Of course I was bummed when I found out that GBV had actually disbanded a couple of years before I "discovered" them so I lamented the fact that I'd never get to see them live. I actually had a good excuse. GBV's main touring years were 1994-2004. Which was exactly my prime child-rearing years as we had a baby in 1993 and 1995. I didn't get to a lot of shows during that time period and only after the kids got a little older, did live music make it back into my entertainment choices.
So I'm making an exception for Guided By Voices. One it's at First Avenue, which is the perfect place to see this band. They've been touring for a couple of weeks now and the reviews are great. Set lists indicate a heavy dose of Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes, Propeller, and scattered other classics in a two-plus hour show. But mainly it's Guided By Voices: A band with infectious pop songs that thrill me today like they did when I first heard them.
Review (with pictures) will come tomorrow.
Cutout Witch from a couple of nights ago in Seattle