​Godspeed You! Black Emperor Central United Church, Calgary AB, June 25

​Godspeed You! Black EmperorCentral United Church, Calgary AB, June 25
Photo: Ryan Kostel
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For a few moments, the audience didn't clue in to the fact that Montreal post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor were playing, talking loudly in the pews during a drone while members slowly appeared on stage.
 
But as a film projection started and the band was assembled, a hushed reverence took throughout the church. The eight-person collective playing in a church was one of the most anticipated sets of Sled Island, and they did not disappoint, building walls of sound that both wafted and slammed relentlessly. For two hours, they straddled the line between grandiosity and chaos as they played two short sets, the second being all of Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress in its entirety.

There was scarcely a break as the Montreal group played alongside the constantly changing film projections, working themselves up to emphatic climaxes before ending on an ambitious drone coda that left the crowd dazedly reaching for the exit after two hours of nonstop excellence.