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On August 13th 2008, "The Present Tense" made its first documented appearance at the soundcheck in Mansfield. Its actual title was unknown at that point, so it was nicknamed "Like A Weapon" as this phrase is repeated many times in the Mansfield version. The transcribed lyrics (thanks to hoserama) come from an unavailable recording of excellent quality. The audio quality of the only available recording is faint, but the song is recognizable. In the first clip the band rehearses the first part of the song:

In the second clip they continue working on the music of the first part and also try the transition into the middle section:

In this third clip they work on the middle section:



There is also a video recording of the middle section, which sounds slightly clearer than the audio clip:

Work on the last section of the song is not documented for Mansfield. This is the full transcript from the high quality recording of the full soundcheck of this song as typed out by hoserama:
[first section]

well it comes
well it comes
it's like a weapon
like a weapon
like a weapon

you're in it
when we dance
like a weapon
like a walking
like a walking cop

here it comes
here it...

oh oh
oh oh
oh

you're in it
you're in it
oh oh
oh oh oh oh

when we dance
when we dance
it's like a weapon
like a weapon
like a weapon
you're in it
you're in it
oh oh
oh oh
in it
oh oh oh oh

[guitar only]

-----
[second section - slightly faster + tambourine]

well we danced
we danced
searching off
reaching off
reaching off
well we danced
we danced
reaching off
searching off
turning off (?)

-----
[3rd section - different guitars, slower]

let's get it on
let's get it on
(picks up)
let's get it on
let's get it on

[resumes old tempo with organ + old guitar part
guitar crescendos a bit, heavier playing]

[Thom then makes sure to talk to sound crew to mark down the spot on the soundcheck so they have a copy of the song]

-----
[4th section (starts out as in Limbo)]

[develops into the guitar parts from the last song a bit faster]
On August 15th 2008, a Toronto soundcheck of the song was recorded. The band rehearses the end section:


There is also a video of the same run-through. It is shorter than the audio clip, but again sounds slightly clearer:
On March 16th 2009, in Mexico City, the first available full recording of the song was taped by Conejo. It was captured during the soundcheck and it revealed that the parts from Mansfield and Toronto were indeed from the same song. :

A better sounding recording of the last part of the song also became available:
On july 19th 2009, the song had its live debut when Thom performed it during his solo set at the Latitude Festival. A setlist caught by fans revealed the song title to be 'The Present Tense', which had been unknown up to that point:

As part of the initial touring for the "Atoms For Peace" project, the song was played once during Thom's solo acoustic section on april 8th 2010:
Live performances # to # during the touring for Amok:
  Unreleased/A Moon Shaped Pool june/july 2013 09/2013 october 2013 november 2013
The Present Tense [2] 14 09
The lyrics for the song can be seen in one of eleven pieces of artwork made from several layers of tracing paper, including some early drafts beneath the final one: