michael gira played to a comfortably full room at the doug fir on tuesday. the crowd was a mix of metal heads and goths (fans of swans), psych-folk hipsters (angels of light fans), and music/record nerds (probably where i fit). the opener was larkin grimm, m. gira’s latest protege (you may have heard of his last one; devendra banhart). pretty folk singer, not anything special to me, but i could see her finding a niche. she had great stage presence and the crowd warmed up to her nicely.
m. gira was in the crowd all night, so it wasn’t a big deal when he came on stage to set up his equipment. once he set up his amp balanced on two cinder blocks and his music stand with laminated lyric sheets, he wandered off stage. he returned ten seconds later and started the show. the set consisted of a lot of new material, angels of light and swans songs. gira was in a fantastic mood joking with the crowd, a much different persona than last time i saw him. gira’s power in his voice is what makes him special, hearing him live is something you won’t forget. like jamie stewart he has a talent for reaching that painful-beautiful space. also as a songwriter he is masterly poetic with dark, sometimes brutal, imagery and subjects. lots of blood has been spilled in his music.