They were spectacular. The openers were mediocre. Bunky was like a new Save Ferris minus the "Come On Eileen" and the other band was like every band in Fresno, chord chord chord slow slow slow, bass part, chord chord chord, four chords for seven minutes etc. The audience was visibly angry at this- shit may get tolerated in Bakersfield, but won't fly here- but nobody moved because we'd miss our places (front and to the left, right by Toshi).
The Furnaces were so elegant and fiercely militant about their set, there was one flub when Eleanor bumbled a line in "Bow Wow" I think, oh, another where she couldn't figure out how to turn on an amp, but that's fine, no worries. They alternated between fast fast dance versions of twenty seconds of each song and fast versions of two minutes of each song. They played three encores, one with just Matt and Eleanor and two with the band. They played "Police Sweater Blood Vow" and "Waiting to Know You" as well as "Rehearsing My Choir" as far as new material goes.
The Furnaces were very robotic. Robotic sounding, like there was a sick desperation to get it all out there, this po-mo-prog-disco 'splosion. I was very impressed by how tight they had all of these cutup versions done, they seem to be different from show to show, I wonder how they do it. Like do they just sing it all through together in the van? I mean, its simple enough. Matt's got his thing going on, and as long as Toshi plays something near him, Andy can thwack away and Eleanor has the lyrics down, dang down. Even if the melodys aren't so strong and the voice feels like a lecture sometimes, it is very impressive.
After the show I got everybody but Eleanor to sign my copy of Walter Benjamin's Illuminations, Matt signed it "MAYBE READ RUSKIN INSTEAD".