There’s always something very special about seeing a touring show in Tijuana, and that’s not the $30 peso(~$1.50USD) beers talking. The audience is always receptive and energized, while the artists are surprised with the live music culture and the vibrancy of the city.
This symbiotic relationship between the artist and its audience causes for excellent, dynamic shows. The Low show at the Mustache in Tijuana exhibited these exact characteristics.
Low’s unique and distinguished sound is very difficult to nail down exactly what it is and be placed in a genre. It has been dubbed slowcore by critics; to me they sound like if you put Slowdive, Swans, and Godspeed! You Black Emperor into a blender and slow it down to a snail’s pace. It is all at once jarring and beautiful. Their sound was taken to another level with their 2018 record Double Negative. Added dizzying synths, punchy breakdowns, gorgeously layered harmonies, and sharp lyricism made for one of the best and most poignant records of the past year.
Touring on Double Negative, Low’s set heavily featured those songs while sprinkling in crowd favorites from their extensive discography. The husband and wife duo of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker on guitar and drums respectively lent their incredible harmonies to contrast the darker bass-laden instrumentation provided by Steve Garrington. They were flanked by three tiered neon lighting fixtures which pulsed and created patterns that perfectly matched the tone of each song and crafted a mesmerizing hypnotic aura. To recreate the Double Negative songs in a live setting as well as they did is no small feat, and it shows their level of musicianship and mastery of their craft.
There were many highlights of their sound throughout the show, but one that really resonated with me came from the 14-minute instrumental song “Do You Know How to Waltz?” The droney, dissonant song took twist and turns throughout it’s runtime and left the audience in a daze. Low has the ability to create an intimate show where their music is truly felt and experienced with no distractions and it was a sight to behold.