When we started talking about doing a vinyl reissue of City of Echoes an early idea that was floated around was adding a bonus LP of live material. After all, it's the only album to date we’ve done that didn’t sprawl out into a double LP, so why not force it to conform to our usual format? The earliest conception of the idea was to assemble a compilation of live songs spanning the two years that we toured the material on the album, from the pre-album sessions Fall 2006 tour across Canada with Daughters (where many of the songs made their live debut) through to our European tour with Torche in the Fall of 2008. We dug through our archive of live recordings, commissioned friends and allies to send us whatever recordings they had, and began combing through everything to find the cream of the crop. Ultimately what we found is that nights when we were playing our best is when recording devices were producing their worst sound quality and, conversely, that there were some very crystal clear recordings of us playing sloppily and occasionally badly out of tune. Sorry to those of you who were at those particular shows.
We were on the verge of proceeding without bonus material when we happened upon this recording of our sole show in Poland, part of our 2007 tour with High on Fire. It was a memorable night - it was an epic drive from Leipzig the previous night and when we arrived the venue seemed wrong for the type of event - it was a ritzy jazz club and the staff were wearing suits. They started setting up a barricade in front of the stage, ignoring our protests that it would not be needed. We were wrong. Metalheads were out in force that night and headbangers would be clutching that barricade and thrashing for the duration of both bands’ sets. We’d been switching off the headlining spot with High on Fire throughout the tour and that night they played first. After every song the entire crowd would chant in unison “HIGH ON FIRE! HIGH ON FIRE!” Backstage, eating homemade pirogies the promoter had brought, we were wondering if it was even worth playing since it seemed like the whole crowd was there specifically to see the other band. High on Fire finished their set and we sheepishly sauntered out on stage to setup, thinking people would be filtering out of the club. Instead the whole crowd greeted us “PEL-I-CAN! PEL-I-CAN!” and proceeded to thrash like maniacs from the first to last minute of our set (well, they chilled out during the mellow parts).
It’s remained a very cherished memory, a tale we’ve often repeated to friends and allies. We feel very privileged to share it with you. Due to the constraints of the format we could only fit seven songs of the set on the LP version, but this album comes with a download for a digital version of the whole performance because we thought you might want it. We hope you enjoy!
released October 28, 2016
recorded at Firlej by Tomasz Mróz
live sound by Dana Fehr
tour management by Tomas Zakopal
performed by Laurent Schroeder-Lebec, Trevor Shelley de Brauw, Bryan Herweg, and Larry Herweg.
mastered by James Plotkin
art and design by Aaron Turner