30 March 2009

The Mountain Goats @ The Society For Ethical Culture, NYC 3/27/09

One of the great things about seeing a band tour between albums is that you never know what you’re going to hear. It’s even greater when that band has a back catalog spanning over 600 songs recorded over the nearly two decades. Such was the case with the Mountain Goats all acoustic show at the Society for Ethical Culture.

I mean, holy moley just check out this setlist!:

1 John 4:16
Woke Up New
Song for Tura Satana
Cobscook Bay
Going to Lebanon
Un rêve plus long que la nuit (aka November Love Song)
Going to Kansas
The Last Limit of Bhakti
You or Your Memory
Going to Queens
From TG&Y
Dance Music
The Day The Aliens Came
Ontario (requested)
So Desperate
Color in Your Cheeks (requested)
Sign of the Crow 2
[new Comedians song]*
See America Right*
No Children
The Sign

*featuring John Vanderslice

Also "1 John 4:16” was played on the piano. Darnielle remarked it was the first time he played the piano in front an audience since he was 9. Other highlights included a few collaborative efforts and even a new song with opener John Vanderslice. Their musical collaboration together is being billed as The Comedians, and if this sneak peek was any indication future recordings will be awesome.

Needless to say this show especially awesome to those diehard fans hyper-familiar with John Darnielle’s prolific output (an overwhelming amount of the audience considering the line outside the venue started to form at noon), but that’s not to say those only familiar with his 4AD output weren’t satiated as well. The show was a careful balancing act of hits and obscurities, with a solo Darnielle even polling the crowd to get a feel for what we wanted to hear, which essentially was everything. Getting swept up in the fervor of requests being shouted his way, he played over a half an hour over the venue’s curfew and informed the audience he wouldn’t be able to play an encore. But we wouldn’t take no for an answer. While well after half the audience left, the remaining loyalists stomped and cheered for what seemed like an eternity (but was probably actually just a very long five minutes) until he reemerged to the stage with a rousing rendition of “The Sign”, you know that classic Ace of Base song that was all the rage in middle school. And coming from Mr. Darnielle, it sounded just as poetic as his original material, obscure or not.

The Day The Aliens Came - the Mountain Goats
November Love Song - the Mountain Goats

thanks to bill for the photos!


Anonymous said...

Just in case anyone is keen to hear Surrounded and missed this the first time around, it was the yuletide '07 gift on the mountain goats website (along with a short bit of information about the collaboration)


Direct link to the song:

Thanks for the words :)

nyctaper said...

My recording is now up on the site:

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Anonymous said...

I'm happy I can have a show this awesome on my iTunes, but am upset that he managed to play every song I can think of requesting at one show and I wasn't there.