Thursday, April 7, 2011

Show review: The Mountain Goats at the Vic, 4/5

Posted by Matt Ciani

photo: D.L. Anderson
Due to an allegedly strict curfew - as mentioned a dozen times by various members of both bands on the bill - it was an early night when The Mountain Goats played the Vic Theater Tuesday night; the band left the stage before ten. Despite the time restraint, John Darnielle and co. brought their wordy stories and divorce-themed fan favorites to a surprisingly enthusiastic audience, especially for a Tuesday night. The mass of humanity yelled and bobbed along as Darnielle emphatically insisted his lyrics with his nasally, over-pronouncing voice.

The headliner took the stage just before 8:30 and, without introduction of acknowledgement, launched immediately into the closing track of their most recent album, All Eternals Deck, entitled “Liza Forever Minnelli.” “I’ll never get away from this place,” Darnielle repeated as his long-time bassist Peter Hughes bobbed and rocked along to the simple chord progression. “Anyone here who mentions Hotel California dies before the first line clears his lips,” continued the lyrics, drawing attention toward another story of “never getting away."

Clever quips like this comprise most of The Mountain Goats’ songs, making Darnielle one of today’s best-respected lyricists. Perhaps even greater than the lyrics themselves is the insistence with which he delivers each line. Seeing it live and witnessing his ability to convince you of the validity of each admittedly fictional story he tells in song is the best part of the Goats’ live show. Perhaps it is the only part.

They continued through their setlist up until Darnielle lost a pick and it flew into his guitar. Citing his own obsessive-compulsive disorder as his rationale, he spent a few minutes on stage trying to fish the “little, grey thing” out, until a stage-hand handed him a new one. All the while, Hughes attempted to reiterate the strictness of the Vic’s curfew.

Throughout the night, The Mountain Goats touched upon several of their more recent releases (particularly The Sunset Tree and Tallahassee), playing fan favorites such as “This Year” and “No Children." However, at the end of the night the album most represented was their newest, All Eternals Deck, whose songs most lend themselves to a full-band ensemble.

Die-hard fans sang along with all of the songs, which spanned the band’s entire prolific career, while others were clearly in attendance for songs like the aforementioned “This Year."

We jumped and sang along, belting out bleak and uncomfortable stories of divorce and alcoholism and abuse, all the while smiling and loving every second of what Darnielle and his friends had to offer. 

For the full setlist and photos from the night, also check out Consequence of Sound's review. 


Check out more show reviews:
Lupe Fiasco at House of Blues
Hemmingbirds at Lincoln Hall
Maps & Atlases at Lincoln Hall
Flogging Molly at Congress Theater
Louis and the Hunt at Schubas

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