= The difference in sound between live and on recording =

I just watched a live performance of Weird Goodbyes on YouTube, and it sounded so much better and fuller than the recording. It’s because of the added rhythm guitar that Bryce played throughout the song, as well as Ben and Kyle’s horn section

In general, I don’t get why (lately) they make their recordings sound so clean and produced (often almost sterile), while they add so much flavor to their songs live. I definitely prefer the fuller and more raw sound of the live versions of many of their songs (Rylan for example) thanks to the more prominent guitar and horns

At this point Ben and Kyle are almost regular band members so why completely neglect them for the recordings on the last few albums?
Anyway, still love Weird Goodbyes and very excited for the new album

I LOVE the live recordings and the rare chance to witness a show myself. I don't think that there is a SINGLE song since 2013 that can't surpass the studio version. I've always wondered what causes this

Some of the most refreshing takes on songs are:
Don'tThe Cap (Bryan goes ham, Bryce makes the guitar slide sound manic, Aaron is mixed loudly, and when in person, Scott could break up kidney stones with the bass)
Slow Show: Bryan fills in with a lot more, Bryce is louder than the studio version, and that outrooh my god

Sea of Love: Holythat put me in a trance when I saw it last in 2017. It's the "gauzy" wall of noise brought to its absolute max

Son: if you can get your hands on a recent live version or see it in 2017 like I did, you'd never be able to tell that the song is 21 years old

Wasp Nest: As one of the Dessners said, they never play it exactly the same

Squalor Victoria: I am so glad I saw this majestic song when it was a staple at shows. That outro, Aaron's guitar, Bryan's intro, Matt's screaming

Humiliation: if you aren't aware, there's an outro that sounds like getting thrown into a rage against someone so strong

I Need My Girl: easy to overlook due to it being the most well known, but my god, lately it has turned into a full song and not just a synthy lo-fi love song. Also, can we talk about Bryce using a guitar but in a very unique way

So Far So Fast: Matt sings the song, that is all

Afraid of Everyone: Bryce knows how to tailor a solo to the vibe


I could list pretty much every song lol. But I have stuff to do. All in all, they (INCLUDING Ben and Kyle) bring so much to a set. Bryan will go above and beyond what a human should be able to do, Scott (especially on Hey Rosey) shows his strict adherence to rhythm, Aaron is versatile asBryce is literally a surge of dopamine whenever he does anything with a guitar, and Matt can use melancholy to smother us with emotion or can unhinge and transfer so much energy to his audience. They are special and they will always be #1 to me as they have been since 2014

A fact that may play into the difference between IAETF and their live versions is that, according to a band member, Mike Mills went around and turned down the guitars volumes. I have a very hard time forgiving that

Some honourable mentions I feel bad leaving out:
Walk It Back: Bryce shines and the outro is a hard pill go

Nobody Else Will Be There: Adding in drums and more guitar makes it top tier and Hey Baby is strong af

Sleep Well Beast: kinda feels like a higher power trying to show me what their music is like, it's a lot to handle but Ilive for that

Hard To Find: I honestly think this is the song I'll always wish for live even if there isn't too much of a difference from the studio version

This Is The Last Time: Chef's kiss
Secret Meeting: It is a thrill and boy did I feel like it's the amphetamine-infused introvert anthem

Start A War: It's really distilled on the album, it flowers and is so good live with the noticeable percussion, guitar interplay, and the outro. Also in the Haldern 2008 version, Matt plays an instrument for the only time I know of by tapping a cymbal on Bryan's kit

Apartment Story: Matt being louder in the last verses, the guitar introducing the song, and the gradual increase in the guitars raw energy

Ada: but when they did that tribute to Sufjan Stevens' Chicago at the end with the horns as an homage to his piano playing on the studio version
Sorrow: Bryce again complementing the song with his magical powers of minimalistic guitar power

Hey Rosey: Live from Sirius Studiostell me what you hear differently
Light Years: the outro they do now with drums, ebow+slide
Dark Side of The Gym: But when they merge it with a cover Leonard Cohen's Memories

Peggy-O: I hope this returns because it's one of the most BEAUTIFUL takes on a cover of a cover of a cover of a

Demons: idk man, something about the Sydney Opera House version made me a fan of a long-overlooked song
Turtleneck: I strongly think that those who don't like it, just haven't felt the power of it live
Lucky You: with a guitar solo, it takes a sad song and makes itdevastating
90 Mile Waterwall: When I heard the Cherry Tree vinyl version, I couldn't believe this was the same song
And Finally, Roman Holiday: What a discreet buildup and holy moly does it butter my biscuit

Songs I would love to hear a live transformation of are: Patterns of Fairytales Slipped Fashion Coat

I agree with everything you say. And I like how you see it as something positive. The fact that many songs sound so much better live only makes it more compelling and amazing to see them live

I am still recovering from hearing Slow Show live a month ago
About Today is even more masterpiece live. It is so frantic and beautiful, complements the usually slow pace of the song. This song infact, is the final score in the 2011 movie Warrior, and is what got me obsessed with this group 11 years ago

I don’t think there’s one “reason,” but my understanding is that the band’s songwriting process has the band come up with the melody and instrumentation independently from Matt’s lyrics. Perhaps entirely before he comes into the process

So, when they’re writing and recording, the “live version” of any particular song just doesn’t exist

I've been saying this for so long I only saw them for the first time last month but have been listening to live recordings of songs like About Today and Slow Show rather than the recorded version because they are SO much nicer, added in horn sections, sped up in rhythm at the end would love for them to remaster some older albums

Their mixing and production on albums in general is so weird sometimes

They regularly tone down Scott, you can't even hear the base on some tracks. They often don't record the epic breakdowns that make many tracks clap so hard live (Slow Show, for example). And they do these weird lo-fi takes that can just sound likecompared to live. The album versions of Squalor Victoria and Terrible Love are some of the most severe offenders that come to mind

I find Matt's vocals to be superior on studio recordings, and the guitar parts obviously sound a lot cleaner, but the live versions just sound fuller and more dynamic, they go to places and culminate in cathartic ways

I adore Boxer, its almost a perfect album, but it's hard to take as seriously now that Boxer Live in Brussels exists with its epic recording of Squalor, for example

Ben and Kyle played on the studio version and the guitar is still there. There’s even acoustic drums like the live version on the 2nd half of the track. They’re all just buried in the mix and behind the synths, strings and vocal layering
Oh, thanks for pointing that out! But the fact that I didn’t even notice proves my point I guess

I thought I read something from Aaron recently suggesting that they are playing many of their brand-new songs on tour exactly because they know they usually end up liking the live versions better

I remember reading this too. I think Bryce also mentioned that they were recording certain guitar parts from the live shows and incorporating them into the studio recordings. Something like that

I crave a huge live box set from them one day. We know they record tonnes of gigs, and they've been a band for over 20 years, but Boxer live and juicy sonic magic are the only live albums? Make it make sense

I wouldhappy if they released something akin to Springsteen's live 1975-85 box set

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