As a teenager, the only thing I knew about Swans was that Henry Rollins loved them. It wasn’t until my early 20s, when I was at the radio station, that I had a chance to listen to one of their albums. I found their brutal approach to noise interesting, but I couldn’t get into it. That was a little over 20 years ago.
But a couple years ago, after a breakup period, Swans began releasing new work. They made their album To Be Kind available to listen to for free, so I checked it out. This time around, Swans blew my mind. They followed it up with The Seer, an album which included several monumental jams clocking in at 19, 23, and 32 minutes – and all of it pure power.
The six videos in this post were recorded (not by me) at Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix on 13 April, 2015. I’ve been to hundreds upon hundreds of concerts in my life, from piano concertos to free jazz to punk rock. This concert stands out as one of the most amazing.