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Guided by Voices

Guided by Voices at Terminal 5, NYC, November 7th, 2010

Nov 24, 2010 Web Exclusive
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If Robert Pollard is anything, he’s prolific. He’s released several discs of music each year for the past two decades under at least a dozen names, founded a handful of record labels, published one literary magazine, a book of collage work and a couple spoken word albums, and written more than a thousand songs during his career.

With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that when Ohio’s prodigious son returns to NYC with his most exalted band, Guided By Voices, they should deliver an extremely generous 39-song, three encore setlist.

On a quick tour after reuniting for the first time in five years at the Matador 21 festival in Las Vegas, and billing themselves as the “classic lineup” of Guided By Voices (which included Tobin Sprout, Mitch Mitchell, Kevin Fennell and Greg Demos backing up the ever-present Robert Pollard), the band took the stage at Terminal 5 for a sold-out and eager audience.

And that crowd was enthusiastic. Few audiences I’ve experienced have elicited the fever pitch excitement level that GBV’s fans showed here. Their cult following arrived in force, singing along with each and every abundant track with a lyrical accuracy that even outmatched the singers’.

The only people more excited to be there than the fans seemed to be the band itself. Diving straight into several of the most beloved tracks from Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes, they exhibited a zealousness of a band that might’ve been playing these songs out to a crowd for the very first time.

Only taking the shortest of breaks to sip from an always-convenient bottle of booze and occasionally ramble off a quick story to a crowd that hung on to his every drunken slur, Pollard & Co. ran through one “hit” after another. Hearing such classics as “Gold Star for Robot Boy” and “Weedking” live after thinking the band had been broken up for the last five years was a wonderful experience.

Those who haven’t seen Guided By Voices live shouldn’t let another opportunity pass them. The lo-fi sound that’s a signature of most of their output is misleading; they are a loud, wild band. That Pollard hasn’t exhausted himself despite his extraordinary creative torrent is still a wonder; that the band continues to perform at this level decades into its existence is shocking.

The “classic lineup” of Guided By Voices will return to Terminal 5 for a one-off show on New Year’s Eve.


Tractor Rape Chain

Game of Pricks

I Am A Scientist

Shocker in Gloomtown

The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory

Gold Star for Robot Boy

My Valuable Hunting Knife

Motor Away

A Good Flying Bird

Cut-Out Witch

Matter Eater Lad

Watch Me Jumpstart

Striped White Jets

My Impression Now

Awful Bliss

14 Cheerleader Coldfront


Break Even

Buzzards and Dreadful Crows

Exit Flagger

Hot Freaks

Closer You Are

Gleemer (The Deeds of Fertile Jim)

Quality of Armor

Queen of Cans and Jars

Echos Myron

Unleashed! The Large-Hearted Boy

A Salty Salute

Smothered in Hugs

Postal Blowfish

Hey Aardvark

Pimple Zoo

Bright Paper Werewolves

Some Drilling Implied

Dodging Invisible Rays

My Son Cool

Don’t Stop Now

Johnny Appleseed




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December 10th 2010

great show. Saw them in Seattle on this tour too. They were much slopier in New York but it was fun.