Monday, September 25, 2006
Christine Fellows/The Mountain Goats at Lee's Palace, September 19th 2006

This was my second time seeing John Darnielle and Peter Hughes rip it up live, and between being the Best Man at a wedding this weekend and sundry other things, I am woefully late in writing about it. So late, in fact, that Carl Wilson has already done a masterful job of discussing the concert, here, in a fantastic post that covers pretty much everything that I was thinking of talking about (although my set list is more complete than his - I was front row centre, scribbling down each song as it came on, and only the opening ditty I still can't track down (possibly a new one?), although Darnielle graciously gave us the title). I incredibly glad to run into Wilson's post while trying to track down the actual title of the Franklin Bruno song that the Goats covered fantastically during the encore because he bothered to remember the between song banter more than I had, and John Darnielle's stage presence is worth paying $15 for all by itself. The songs were amazing, and astoundingly done - I'd seen him do "Lion's Teeth" where the chorus just drops into nothing before, but seeing him work similar magic with the more simpatico moments on Get Lonely took my breath away.

Yes, like the guy shouting for old songs I could have done with some more history (I would kill to hear "The Young Thousands" live), but the Mountain Goats last two records are arguably highlights of Darnielle's whole career, so I don't begrudge his focus on them at all. And of course, songs I thought were merely good on record, like "Wild Sage" and "In The Hidden Places" were revealed as absolute highlights, one of the funnest parts of seeing these guys live.

Unlike Wilson, however, I have a little more space, and I'd like to mention Christine Fellows. Playing keyboards and with a band composed of a drummer, a cellist/zylophonist and a full-time percussionist who was actually valuable, she put on a fantastic show; I'd never heard her before, although I think she's played Guelph quite a bit, and I bought her latest album Paper Anniversary as soon as the show ended. Darnielle dedicated "Get Lonely" to her as a sign of the high esteem he holds her in (as Wilson notes, he mentioned her as one "whose boots I don't consider myself worthy to polish"), and although I'm familiar enough with the songs to speak convincingly or even coherently about them, after her set I can see where he's coming from. As the unconventional band setup indicates, she wasn't exactly rocking out, but her songs managed to marry a level of sonic detail you don't often get with live music with the kind of energy you can only really find there. The only thing disappointing about her performance was that her cellist didn't re-emerge when the Mountain Goats played "Dilaudid" (and even then their acoustic-and-bass rendition was a lot of fun).

Set list:
"Design Your Own Container Garden"
New Monster Avenue
Moon Over Goldsboro
You Or Your Memory
Dance Music
Get Lonely
Wild Sage
Going To Cleveland
In The Hidden Places
Game Shows Touch Our Lives
Cobra Tattoo
Lion's Teeth
This Year

No Children
Houseguest (Nothing Painted Blue cover)

Second Encore:
The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton

(cross-posted to the Turntable)

Posted by Ian on Monday, September 25, 2006 at 11:51 PM |

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