Guided By Voices Olympic Plaza, Calgary AB, June 25

Guided By Voices Olympic Plaza, Calgary AB, June 25
Photo: Steve Louie
The crowd hung on Robert Pollard's every line at Guided By Voices' performance in Calgary last night (June 25), his and his band's dramatic rock songs proving irresistible. The band's new lineup jumped around Pollard's extensive back catalogue, enthusing the crowd with "Echos Myron" from 1994's Bee Thousand, followed by "Do Something Real" from Pollard's 1999 solo album, Speak Kindly Of Your Volunteer Fire Department.
The drinks were flowing onstage, as is typical of a GBV show, Pollard lamenting that their festival set was restricted to 90 minutes as opposed to their regular three-hour marathons. This just meant that Pollard and the band brought even more energy than usual to the set, as rolling guitars, drums and bass catapulted the audience through "Back to The Lake." Dissonant chords and thick layers of guitars textured the band's music at times, while "Tractor Rape Chain" was a triumphant rock song featuring walloping drums. Pollard continually led the crowd through upbeat, anthemic material. "Glad Girls" was a highlight, the audience chanting along with Pollard: "Hey, hey, glad girls only want to get you high."
Truncated set and all, Guided By Voices showed Calgary that they are back and louder than ever.