Thoughts On The New Lineup?

Hey gangers,

I’m just back from the Melbourne gig and I’m sure you all watched the livestream of it (I watched it on the plane trip home!), so I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the new sound with the addition of Tom…

Firstly, I have to say it was strange not have Joji on stage. I wonder how he felt seeing 15,000 going off, knowing that as a solo performer he probably won’t experience that again… Maybe he will, and good on him for going in his own direction, but surely he would’ve felt a pang of regret last night.

But what a revelation having Tom on board makes! Every single song was different live, some with only subtle changes, others with a lot. From the opening bars of Deepest Sighs, with Max on keys, Jung on guitar and Tom on violin, it was obvious what Tom’s versatility will bring to the live sets. And what a brilliant version of Deepest Sighs that was! Strings are such an important part of GFIL, and I always wanted to see them live at some stage- little did I know it would become a permanent fixture! Yes, it’s only one instrument, but in many songs it is a little more faithful to the album sound, and live it sounded a lot more fuller than previously.

What I noticed during The Heart Is A Muscle was firstly the different sound with Tom using a different guitar to Joji, but it also became obvious throughout the set that neither he nor Jung are as technically proficient on guitar as Joji. It’s a big ask for Jung to play lead and I thought he handled it really well all things considered, but he hit a few bum notes and just wasn’t as naturally smooth as Joji. But he will only get better.

I loved the violin during Spirit Wane, it really suits the song, and where I thought it really shone was during Let Me Down Easy. I never thought Joji playing lead guitar did the song justice live, but the violin playing the same melody was a huge improvement, especially the part where the erhu is used on the album. Jung playing the riff from Common People during the last verse was a great touch. Vital Signs was an absolute stonker- I just love that intro of “I will feed you with my own two hands”! And what a sound with 4 guitarists!

Tom seemed super relaxed and certainly wasn’t overawed at the occasion (playing full houses with Mumford & Sons helped there) and really looked to be enjoying himself. In fact, Dave and the others appeared really happy too. There were quite a few technical glitches throughout- both Dave and Jung lost their guitars at different times. The live stream mix didn’t do the live sound justice though, and it’s a real pity the audience wasn’t mic’ed up, as it sounded like nobody was singing or applauding. Trust me, they were!

Overall, I thought it was brilliant, and I’m really excited to hear the direction they will take on the new album.

Love to hear your thoughts too…

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As an aside, I find it really interesting that there has been absolutely no mention by the band about Tom. I really thought he’d be introduced by Dave last night, but not a word.

I finally had a chance to settle in now and watch the video reply and I agree with most of your thoughts. I thought Let Me Down Easy was the highlight of the show, which kinda surprises me to say because I don’t think I’ve ever loved that song as much as the rest of GOY fandom seems to love it. But damn, Tom played some funky-ass violin and I really enjoyed that.

And Vital Signs, too, was really epic. That’s another one I don’t really love on the album, but it’s really epic and amazing in concert when they do the extended intro and all that. Last night’s version was 9.5 minutes long.

I also agree with you about the loss of Joji and Jung/Tom trying to replace him – it doesn’t sound ideal. But in their defense, these are songs that were written with Joji in the band and it’s probably not fair to say they didn’t hold up to his standard on some songs – because of course they didn’t. But I would bet when we start hearing the new songs live, it’ll all sound much better because those songs are written for this lineup to play.

Also agree about the mix quality. Ugh. I’m making the MP3s right now and it just doesn’t sound really great. I’m glad to have them and glad it was streamed live – don’t want to take that for granted. But yeah, it didn’t sound as good as some other live shows.

I don’t agree about Deepest Sighs, but mainly because that song is sacred ground for me and it’ll be a while before I can get used to the version they did last night. Ditto with Spirit Wane.

Tom was definitely impressive – dude has a lot of talent and gives them a lot of flexibility for sure. And it really is strange that they haven’t introduced him. I hope he’s okay with that … cuz damn, it’d be within his rights to get kinda insulted that he’s played three gigs with them now, been in the studio with them, and they haven’t said a single word recognizing that. C’mon guys!! :smile:

Oh, and I’m sure @Swan269 will have some thoughts to share, too, since we’ve been chatting a bit in our Deepest Sighs chat room.

I don’t want to repeat everything that Matt and Solo have said word for word I’ll just give a couple observations

-Tom was fantastic, great for the band to have someone so multi-dimensional. His guitar playing was OK, but his violin playing was out of this world. He is going to provide so much texture to this band moving forward.
-I thought the guys looked like they were really having fun, which is always great to see
-The best song of the night for me was “Vital Signs”- what an epic anthem from their back catalog that
MUST be a staple moving forward as they tour. I don’t give a damn if its 10 mins long. Soak it all in.
-I like the shout out to Joji, tells me that they are still friends and band brothers.
-I liked the dynamic they presented for DSFS, a quiet beginning with an energetic end. Should it lead off moving forward? I don’t know, but with new album songs will be all placed differently than these spot shows recently and in the near future
-I’ll always have a soft spot for “GFIL” and Dave sings it beautifully in this show.
-Say Yes to Life should end every show they do for the rest of their career. Tom was brilliant on this tune. His violin really cut through the other instruments to bountifully compete with the lyric. Hot damn friends!

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My favorite part of Solo’s review was “absolute stonker”, I am going to start using this! :joy:

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