If you’re one of the faithfully devoted who’ve kept Loop in mind over the years, then you likely found yourself at the Biltmore on May 14. For a little perspective, by the time younger-me had begun to discover what good music was, Loop had already run their course. That said, I’ve been eating up their discography in recent years and was really psyched at the rare chance to witness the reformed moody drone loveliness in-person—even if for just one time.
Local psychedelic noisemakers the Godspot had the honour of opening the show and they took to the task like champs. Playing to a group of no more than 30, the Godspot weren’t swayed and soldiered on as if in front a thousand. Their groovy take on amphetamine fueled garage rock was a fitting beginning to a night of eardrum rattling. But ears be damned, when moments like the sweet full-band sing-along and guest tambourine spot happened during the lovely “Mechanical Bulls” from 2012’s The Dust on a Moth’s Wings. That moment alone made the low attendance numbers of the show forgivable.
During set change, the crowd began to fill out with a variety of the curious and the old school. Anticipation of this last-in-a-lifetime show was palpable and rightly so.
The reunited South London four-piece were in excellent form and showed little sign of stage rust, ripping through a set that cherry-picked nicely from their three releases—with a few obscure gems thrown in for fun. Looking cool and relaxed, the band were more concerned with creating perfect landscapes of sound than exuding charm and wit. Keeping the banter to a minimum, the Gilded Eternity era lineup played like they’d never even taken 23 years off and sounded just as ahead of their time as they did back then. Songs like “This is Where You End” and “Collision” were mesmerizing as frontman Robert Hampson manipulated simple guitar effects in a way that blew many a minds.
It was in April of last year that Robert Hampson released a statement on the band’s website announcing the brief reformation and intent behind it, ending the statement with these words: “It’s going to blink and you miss it because it’s not going to be around long, I refuse to prolong it and for it to become embarrassing. It’ll be sharp and to the point… straight to your heart and then, it’s gone.”
On this night for an hour or so nobody dared to blink and we surely didn’t miss a thing. There were moments of pure bliss as waves of drone feedback came crashing all over the crowd. Sharp as an arrow and true in aim, these chords most definitely made their way to the heart and these poor old ears may have a thing or two to bitch about, but it was well worth it.