LOW’s

acolinf

LOW’s

26

TONE AUDIO NO.54

Low

Mississippi Studios

Portland, Oregon

April 5, 2013

Photos and text by

Jeff Dorgay

LIVE MUSIC

I n a world that can be seen to

lack tangible musical talent,

given the proliferation of

auto-tuning and lip-synching,

it’s refreshing to experience

a band that distills its studio

effort to an even higher level of

craftsmanship on the stage. Not

that this feat is anything new

for Low, celebrating its 20th

anniversary as a collective.

For the uninitiated, Low

features a slow, sparse, albeit

encompassing sound and consists

of original members Alan Sparhawk

(guitar, vocals) and wife Mimi Parker

(drums, vocals). Bass player Steve

Garrington freelances, providing

additional keyboards and backing

vocals. Long prized by critics and

peers (Robert Plant has covered

several of Low’s songs), the Duluthbased

ensemble nonetheless

remains strangers to widespread

commercial fame. However, judging

from the fans that arrived from farflung

states to experience its show

at Portland’s Mississippi Studios in

early April, Low’s appeal is doing

just fine, thank you.

Live, Low doesn’t operate in

power trio mode. Unhurried and

unbowed, the band built each

arrangement on Parker’s gentle

drumming. She used only a snare

drum, upright bass drum, and large

cymbal, with a brush and wrapped

mallet. (continued)

April 2013 27

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