A week later I finally have time to give the run down of the Mountain Goats show I saw last week at the TLA. It was kind of an interesting crew I convinced my friend Tom/Sebastien to join me and we met up with Ashley and her fella Dan as well as another friend of hers. A random bunch, yes but, fun all around.
The show was all ages and at the TLA two variables that generally mean an influx of non-city dwellers and this was no exception. Kaki King was the opener and beyond saying she could be the poster child for "only one good album" and "much better recorded" cliche definitions I am not going to waste my energy on expressing how totally horrible she was for the entire hour and half she played [a set time rivaling those common during shows from my Jam Band phase]. The single redeeming factor was the sound board guy who played trumpet and some digital instrument that looked like the love child of a Casio keyboard and a bong from the back, apparently too shy to join them on the stage.
Anyways, the Mountain Goats made a quick switch of gear and got off to a rollicking start. I have been a fan from afar for a while but in the last few months I have really come back to some of their stuff, in particularly live recordings. So, seeing them live was a priority. For someone with Aspebergers John Darnelle is pretty fantastic on stage. His anecdotes were short and entertaining and got right back to the music. He even satisfied a request from the audience to play "Thin Lizzy" -- only after pointing out it was generally in poor taste to ask for a cover by shouting out the other band's name and not the song title -- and it was a fine cover of a eighties pop standard. They kept to their peppier stuff Fall Of The Star High School Running Back and Pirates and No Children the lyrics to which are some of my favs. The crowd (after the Kaki fans went away) was a fun dancy high spirited bunch singing along to Darnelle's often quirky lyrics.
The only low point was Kaki's return to the stage, and I really am not trying to hate on her too much it was just the weak point honestly, and their duet on the Snake Song they have recently released. I'm pretty sure that's not even the real name but its not one I like too much and seemed to go on for too long.
Kaki stuck around for another song but then the rest of the Goats came back on stage and finished the set. The show finisher, for me at least, was This Year. The one song I was really really wanting to hear. He sang it with a sincerity I hadn't heard in previous recordings, perhaps due to a year that he led by mentioning was one of the hardest he has ever experienced. I didn't stick around for the encores I was stupid tired at that point (1:12 am) but I heard it was excellent. On the whole not the best show I've seen but certainly not the worst and I will definitely catch them once the opportunity again presents itself.
The Boys Are Back In Town