If you know me at all, even if only through the internet, you know that I like Guided By Voices a lot. So when I learned that they were reforming the "classic lineup" for a tour, I somehow slept on the first wave of tickets (which promptly sold out), panicked, and then freaked out when they moved the show to a bigger venue, i.e. the Riviera Theater.
And GBV did not disappoint. The gang was all there: Kevin, Greg (outrageous tuxedo), Mitch (so stoked to be there), genius-foil Tobin, and rock-god Robert.
The "classic lineup" is important because in 4 years (92-96), it released 5 LPs which became indie classics: Propeller, Vampire on Titus, Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes, and Under the Bushes Under The Stars. These records and their accompanying EPs created a ravenous fanbase and spun an endless GBV mythology. There are hundreds and hundreds of GBV songs. Some are difficult listens while others are crystal clear pop tunes. Almost all of them are good. In those days, quality control didn't matter because everything they touched was gold. Here's what they played last night (album-by-album...you think I can remember a setlist?):
From Propeller: Weed King, Quality of Armor, Lethargy, Unleashed! The Large-Hearted Boy, Exit Flagger, 14 Cheerleader Coldfront
From Vampire on Titus. Gleemer
From Bee Thousand. Buzzards and Dreadful Crows, Tractor Rape Chain, Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory, Hot Freaks, Smothered in Hugs, Echos Myron, Gold Star for Robot Boy, Awful Bliss, Queen of Cans and Jars, I Am a Scientist
From Alien Lanes. A Salty Salute, Watch Me Jumpstart, Game of Pricks, A Good Flying Bird, Pimple Zoo, Closer You Are, Motor Away, My Valuable Hunting Knife, Striped White Jets, My Son Cool
From UTBUTS. Cut Out Witch, Bright Paper Werewolves, Don't Stop Now
Plus: My Impression Now (from Fast Japanese Cycle), Shocker in Gloomtown (from Grand Hour), Dodging Invisible Rays (from Tigerbomb), Matter Eater Lad and Johnny Appleseed (from Clown Prince of the Menthol Trailer)
and I know I forgot some stuff, but you can tell how much I'm nerding out already, and I won't go any farther.