Swans In Concert: ATP Festival 2011 In a two-hour set, the relentless and masculine noise-rock band was absolutely Wagner-ian in scope.

Swans at the Paramount Theatre for All Tomorrow's Parties.

Gisel Florez for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Gisel Florez for NPR

Swans at the Paramount Theatre for All Tomorrow's Parties.

Gisel Florez for NPR

All Tomorrow's Parties

Swans In Concert: ATP Festival 2011

Language Advisory: This is a live concert recording, and may contain language not suitable for all audiences.

Swans never broke up. The blistering and artful noise-rock band just went away for a while — 13 years, to be exact. From all accounts, every time Swans hit the stage during its harrowing existence, it was like a premonition of End Times.

After several years and other projects, frontman Michael Gira reconvened the band in 2010. It wasn't a reunion, because the resulting new album, My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky, was more like the next step. Live, Gira is not unlike his kindred spirit in Woven Hand, shepherding a swirl of foot-stomping chaos, but in five songs smeared over two hours, Swans was absolutely Wagner-ian in scope. The result was masculine and relentless, yet alluring in every respect.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

Wilco performs at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Wilco, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

Twenty years in, the Chicago band has staying power without sacrificing a sense of sonic exploration. Hear its catalog-spanning Newport Folk set now.

Wilco, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539980569/542131363" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Drive-By Truckers perform at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Drive-By Truckers, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

The band kept up a keen-edged commentary on xenophobia, censorship and racism throughout its set of gritty Southern rock. Hear its set now.

Drive-By Truckers, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539347047/542129563" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

William Matheny on Mountain Stage Josh Saul/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Josh Saul/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

William Matheny On Mountain Stage

Hear the singer-songwriter lead an all-star West Virginian rock band for a Mountain Stage set, composed mostly of tunes from his album Strange Constellations.

William Matheny on Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/540569083/540571582" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief performs at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Big Thief, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

The rising indie-rock band performed some new, unreleased songs during its Newport set.

Big Thief, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539334569/540437991" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Seratones perform on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Seratones On Mountain Stage

The psych-soul-rock hell-raisers from Shreveport, La., make their Mountain Stage debut.

Seratones on Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/538151420/538163259" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top