Impressions From Last Night's Sunn O))) Show at the Firebird

Categories: Show Reviews
Paul Friswold went to the Sunn O))) show last night at the Firebird. He wrote me this email when I asked how the show was... 

It was beyond comprehension at points. Here's a short list of things I'll still be trying to process in 60 years:

# Attila Csihar, wearing a black metal t-shirt on top and a shredded black funeral dress on bottom, wanders into the toilets and says, "Excuse Me. Hello.", sounding exactly like Bela Lugosi thanks to his Hungarian accent. 
# Leaning against the back wall about 30 minutes into the set, the bass and guitar simultaneously kick in after an extended prose/poem delivered by Attila with minimal backing. The wall bows under the pressure, then flexes back into place. 
# The fog is so thick that you can't see anything more than an arm's length away. A guy walks by, loses his way, turns in circles clockwise, counterclockwise, back the other way and walks straight into the wall next to me. I don't think he was drunk, but he did look hella scared.
# I look over at Amber to see how she's doing. Her eyes are closed, she has her hands open facing the stage, arms angled away from her body, head back, mouth open. I finally ask her if everything's cool, and she mouths the words, "I'm in a sonic marinade." 
# About an hour in, I think I've run out of body parts that haven't been vibrated. I adjust my stance a little bit, and discover that the skin between my shoulder blades will vibrate if things get loud enough. It feels very much like low-amp electricity is cycling through my back. 
# The last thirty minutes of the show consist of the Sunn riff, a three note descending pattern that ends with a fretboard glissando by O'Malley. They play the riff four times in thirty minutes. It's so loud by the fourth pass that I think the building's shaking, but it's not: I, and everybody around me, are swaying slightly as our inner ears fail to compensate for the vibrations. The sound guy (Sunn's guy) next to me has one hand on the wall and one hand on the console, and his eyes are closed. It turns out that's the only way you can fight the swaying. If you keep your eyes open, as I did, your chest begins to tighten and your body temperature jumps up dramatically. 
# It's all over. We slip outside and bump into Kanapple, who's grinning like a loon. The three of us stand in the parking lot and watch great gouts of fog swirl out of the Firebird's back door and into the night. Someone yells, "It looks something exploded in there." Somebody else counters with, "But we all lived."

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