Photo Recap: Low at The Hi-Fi

Words by Seth Johnson
Photos by Doug Fellegy

There’s no questioning the impressive career of Duluth, Minnesota band Low. Known for their emotive, minimalist indie rock sound, Low has been around since 1993, consistently releasing high quality music over the decades. After seeing them open up for Swans back in 2013 at Deluxe, I was excited for a more intimate experience with Low at the Hi-Fi.

Rather than having an opening act on this night, Low opted to instead treat their fans to two sets of music. A few songs in, guitarist/vocalist Alan Sparhawk mentioned that the first set would predominantly consist of new material, which fans would eventually find on an upcoming release that’s currently in the works. After playing through six new tunes, Low reached back to the 2013 album The
Invisible Way and played the song “Plastic Cup.” They then closed out this first set with two older selections—“Spanish Translation” from the 2015 album Ones and Sixes and “Pissing” from 2005’s The Great Destroyer.

Time and time again throughout the night, I found my mind drifting into a deep contemplation—an effect that Low has seemingly had on others I would assume. Sparhawk and drummer/vocalist Mimi Parker showed off their melancholy harmonies time and time again throughout the night, often singing over simple yet sharp guitar work. During their second set, Low played several more songs from 2015’s Ones and Sixes, including “Landslide,” “Lies,” “No Comprende,” “The Innocents,” and “What Part of Me.” Sprinkled in between these more recent songs were some older selections for the more faithful fans. The most memorable of these was certainly the set closer, “Murderer,” from the 2007 album Drums and Guns. As Sparhawk mentioned, Low has closed with this song for years and years, with its meaning continually changing with the times. “One more thing before I go / One more thing I’ll ask you, lord,” sang Parker and Sparhawk in unison. “You may need a murderer / Someone to do your dirty work.” The song put a fittingly pensive cap on the moving night of music.




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