Tonight the For Carnation pulled it off - they recreated the sound that was captured on one of this year's best CDs on a stage. The six-piece live incarnate of the For Carnation on tour is almost a completely different lineup than the original group which featured various ex-Slint and current Tortoise members, but the sound is much more incredible, much more intense. Brian McMahan—who folks might recall from the legendary Slint and Squirrel Bait groups—leads the pack, speaking, never singing wild tales and cryptic stories, interwoven with a tight band who jams on slow and subtle yet disturbing melodies. This year's tour has more keyboards than before, with the addition of Tim Furnish (former touring guitarist with Aerial M) the sound range is broader with the inclusion of lush effects and audio manipulation. David Grubbs, McMahan's former bandmate in Squirrel Bait opened the show with one of the happiest sets I've ever seen him perform. An attentive audience sat down and listened while Grubbs pulled the art of brainy acoustic guitar virtuoso-ness to a personal and inviting level. You don't have to be an art-snob major to enjoy his music. The tour hits Montreal, Toronto, Detroit, Chicago later this week and ends up at a street address in Louisville. If it comes by you, don't miss it.