Nearly ten years have passed since Fugazi took the stage in London for their last performance before an ongoing hiatus. This week they found relevance again.
Dischord has begun issuing in pieces the majority of Fugazi’s live shows, recorded between 1987 and 2002. Once the full archive is up, the Fugazi Live Series will be home to over 800 full shows, recorded in shockingly great quality, downloadable on a pay-what-you-want sliding scale of $1 to $100 per show.
With already over 100 shows posted to the site, the task of panning for gold could seem a bit daunting to the casual Fugazi fan. There are two answers for this. The first is that this archive is not made for use by fairweather fans of music. This set will be studied as the importance of this band, in terms of their own music, their influence, and their aesthetic and manner of going about presenting independent music, grows exponentially over the years ahead. This is an unprecedented release from a band like Fugazi, who in their time relied so heavily on growing together. Hearing their entire career realized in this fashion will be rewarding for anyone willing to take the trip. The second is that maybe some people just want to hear a couple of tight Fugazi sets and don’t want to be all academic about it. For this there is a user-based rating system that will allow for the highest ranked shows to be featured more prominently on the main page of the site, showcasing the shows the fans deem the greatest.
Personally I can vouch for 12/14/93 in Honolulu, HI and 3/8/99 in Los Angeles, CA, the two shows I have listened to since the site’s launch. Fugazi was a band who only knew how to get better and never had an off night, so find the year your favorite record of theirs came out, grab a few shows, and then draw a few wildcards because this archive is filled with hours upon hours of music worth hearing.