The Low Anthem are a wonderful folk rock band who tour the globe but call Providence home. This Saturday they reopen the Columbus Theater on Broadway for the first of what I hope will be many, many shows and communitarian happenings. (I’m pretty sure the last formal-ish show I saw in there was by Lightning Bolt, perhaps in early 2006.) It’s wonderful to have the venue back in business. Proceeds from the event go to the ongoing rehabilitation of the theater, and the Providence-based charity Atraves, which fosters economic development, education, and health care in Nicaragua.
David: Why did you guys leave the former pasta sauce factory in Central Falls — where you recorded your last album, Smart Flesh — and take to the Columbus?
Low Anthem: The Pasta Sauce Factory was always going to be short term. I mean, we had to sign a death waiver to get into the place. So when we left there, we started looking for a new studio in town. How it came to be the Columbus is a whirlwind. I wondered one day what was going on in there, as many people probably did, looking at the ominous, unchanging ‘opening soon’ marquee, and my curiosity led me to seek out the theater’s owner, Jon Berberian, who agreed to meet up for a walk-through. That was all it took. Our minds were blown. The Columbus is pure magic.
Low Anthem:The moth machine was the dream of Ben Knox Miller, built into physical reality by Ben with our friends Luke Randall, of Saunderstown, RI, and Teke, of Newport. It is a stroboscopic zootrope which, when spun by its quiet motor attached to a big bicycle wheel, makes a ghostly apparition of luna moths take flight, opening up portals to other inspiring dimensions. It’s mesmerizing, beautiful, and a part of our next album.