On September 22, reunited post-punk band Swans took to the stage at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago to perform tracks from its 2010 album, My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky. The record, Swans’ first studio album in 14 years, sparked a year-long tour, which will be coming to an end on October 1 at All Tomorrow’s Parties in New Jersey.
Swans made a name for itself in the ’80s and ’90s with its intense live shows, and this particular date was no exception. At one point, front-man Michael Gira stomped a press photographer’s camera against a monitor, and followed that with a dirty gesture to another photographer. After the show, lap-steel guitarist Christoph Hahn personally apologized to the photographer, saying, “He gets that way with us sometimes…” Tellingly, Gira once said of his band name, “Swans are majestic, beautiful-looking creatures — with really ugly temperaments.”
–text by Mojdeh Stoakley