Guided by Voices / Irving Plaza / New York, NY / July 11, 2014

guidedbyvoicesThis is not a subjective review. Guided by Voices are my favorite band of all time. I also had a lot to drink, so when I tell you this was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen in my life, take it with the appropriate amount of salt grains.

If you’re part of the cult of Robert Pollard, a Guided by Voices show is a great place to drink too much and absolve your sins by shredding your throat with maximum volume sing-alongs.

Here’s Guided by Voices in a nutshell: old dudes, all in their mid- to late thirties when they finally made it 20 years ago, who are hyper-prolific, having put out six records since 2012 plus an EP, and they are all extremely heavy drinkers. On stage, the band had a cooler filled with Miller Lite as Pollard consumed a bottle of tequila himself and another bottle of whiskey floated around.

While I hold the show itself in slightly lower regard than their Bowery show in May, it’s mostly my own fault since I showed up late and had to watch the show from way in the back. However, by the second encore I’d finagled my way toward the front and secured my place directly in front of Pollard. As usual for Guided by Voices, some songs are harder to remember than others, but the bruises from the front barrier plus the wicked smile on my face in photos with Pollard means that I definitely had a great time.

– Layne Montgomery

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