Blunt Force Trauma, 2016

Swans
Botanique
Brussels, Belgium
October 6, 2016
It’s all about the earplugs.
I make my way to the front of the stage at Botanique cause that’s the best way to experience Swans live. The guy to my right is looking at his newly bought 3 Euro earplugs as if to say I think I’ll wait and see if I need these so I do him a solid and lean in and say Oh yeah, you’re gonna need those and he looks at me and realizes I’m probably right so he quickly rips open the plastic bag, so I feel good about saving that dude’s hearing. And then I notice a woman to my left who has her earplugs hanging in her cleavage and I realize this ain’t her first rodeo and I appreciate the professionalism. I realize it’s all about the earplugs so I’m looking around obsessing about ear safety and tinnitus and wondering how many people here tonight will go home with a certain level of hearing loss. (This other guy next to me doesn’t have plugs and ends up covering his ears for the entire show).
So Michael Gira finally makes his way to the stage and I notice to my amazement that he’s not wearing earplugs and this strikes me as rather insane because, well, this is Swans live.
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