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I didn’t plan on staying for all of last night’s sold-out Guided by Voices show at the 9:30. While I own the band’s 2004 release, Half Smiles of the Decomposed, and like it OK, I never quite understood the seemingly fanatic excitement that so many people have for them. So I assumed I was going to shoot some photos, stay for a couple more songs, and be home by 10:30 p.m.

It’s a funny thing when you assume. The neon “The Club is Open” sign flashed on, the “classic” GBV lineup hit the stage, and an incredible slap of raw, melodic power came roaring from the stage. Lead singer Robert Pollard danced an odd smash edit of Riverdance jigs, jumps, and high kicks that could make a Rockette jealous, while intermittently grabbing beers from the Igloo cooler the band had onstage. Forty songs and two hours later, Pollard was rather tanked, the crowd was a sweaty mess, and I had seen the light: It’s the live show, stupid, it’s the live show.

The rest of the photos from the GBV show can be seen here.

(The balcony shots were made possible thanks to the nice lady and the two young guys…Didn’t get your names but thanks for helping me get some great shots!)