March 24, 2024

Kim Gordon played Knockdown Center

Five decades into her career as an art-punk visionary, Kim Gordon has unleashed her latest solo effort and is now on tour in support of the phenomenal output.

Taking the stage at the front of the pack, Kim Gordon marched towards the microphone with her band in tow, averting any sense of stardom, and getting straight to the point. After her drummer, guitarist, and bassist plugged in, the band wasted no time diving straight into their blown-out trap beats over industrial noise-punk blasts of sonic intensity. Taking things to the extreme is nothing new for Kim Gordon, as she's spent years as an avant-guard pioneer, blending her love of physical art with musical prowess to create worlds that feel distinctly her own, worlds full of punishing, blistering bursts of melodic sensations. With blaring visuals and overloaded bass, Gordon and her band plunged right into their set, ripping through the opening number "BYE BYE" with absolute savagery, guitars riffs screeching with force and blazing through the crowd with a murderous vengeance. "I'm a Man" was another number with paralyzing beats and brazen droves of blaring walls of sound. For a record that feels so vital and integral to the moment, watching a performance of it in full felt natural and the only appropriate way for it to unfurl on stage. Thrashing guitar and punishing beats ravaged the set, the striking frequencies creating surreal senses of bristling noise that was mesmerizing and pulled the crowd in with its sinister demeanor, the droning harmonics wrapping the room in an absolute trance. Taking no prisoners, the album's relentless abrasive behavior challenges the listener and brings them in close, rubbing their face right into the mix, forcing them to surrender to the onslaught of noise and give in to the extreme pleasures that arise as you become one with the music. Abstract images and vivid colors aided the voracious sounds that exploded from the stage and the crowd ate it up, allowing the full-throttle waves of sound to crash over them with esteemed purpose, giving in to their indestructible power and overwhelming style of brutal, experimental, clouds of no wave distortion. As much a physical experience as it is an auditory one, Gordon's performance requires intense endurance and never once does she take her foot off the gas, constantly driving with an accelerated speed that pushes things to the brink. Playing her record in full from start to finish, the set was focused with laser sharp precision, the overblown bass and shredding guitars rippling over the crowd like constant waves of extreme force as distorted visuals helped to enhance the experience. Smeared, streaking melodies paired over synthetic drums and plunking 808s shot liking bolts of lightning, making for alt-pop moments that married industrial blasts of guitar that had the crowd leaping with passion and head banging away to the maximalist trends of all out sonic abrasions. For the encore, Gordon went back to her debut solo album, 2018's No Home Record, and turned those electronic-driven no wave epics into more head-spinning treatments of unbridled bursts of absolute destruction. "Air BnB" was a monster and Gordon stalked the crowd from the stage, raging along as she shouted the chorus with a magnitude we'd yet to experience. As the mechanical beats held the tracks together, the metallic eruptions from the bass and guitar gave the night the vibrant textures that took it to the edge. For the final song of the night, Gordon tore into "BYE BYE" once again, bringing things full circle, and if the band had things turned up to 10 on the first go around, for the finale they cranked things up to 11, demonstrating that just when it seemed as if things couldn't get any heavier, the band still had extra juice in the tank and saved everything until the end to really blow the roof off the venue to make for a night that was truly one to be remembered.

Set list:

01 "Bye Bye"
02 "The Candy House"
03 "I Don't Miss My Mind"
04 "I'm a Man"
05 "Trophies"
06 "It's Dark Inside"
07 "Psychedelic Orgasm"
08 "Tree House"
09 "Shelf Warmer"
10 "The Believers"
11 "Dream Dollar"
12 "Air BnB"
13 "Paprika Pony"
14 "Cookie Butter"
15 "Hungry Baby"
16 "Grass Jeans"
17 "Bye Bye"

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