Having missed Grouper‘s (aka Liz Harris) performance at Hopscotch 2018, we were more than excited to learn that one of her next tour stops is Arts at the Armory in Somerville, Mass. Her music is the direct result of dealing with intense isolation/inadequacy, so how does one translates those feelings into a live show?
The isolation and crushing melancholy/sadness certainly came through in the form of piano pieces, but there was also something else – not quite a sense of victory over fears, but certain transcendence/bliss filling the air. Visually it wasn’t much to feast on, but simply closing your eyes while being in near darkness certainly transported you to a different place (or a plane, even).
The exceptional quietness defined much of Grouper’s set we witnessed, with every little squeak/creak made by the crowd being woven into the performance. There were also a few noisier moments, such as this one captured by us 10 minutes before the end of the show: