May 7, 2012

The Mountain Goats @ Metro Theatre

A little over five years ago I saw my first Mountain Goats show. It was, to be honest, a blindingly great show. Full of spirit and heart and utter excitement. It was also, in a convoluted way, the beginnings of how I met the girl. Fast forward to last night and the earnest troubadours returned to the same venue of 2007. With the girl in hand, now my wife, we ventured out ready for another goat tastic experience. In between these two shows the band had toured Australia twice, they are very busy, with two shows at the Manning Bar. Now both of these shows were good. But for a variety of reasons they never quite reached the epic heights of yore. Of course material chosen is a crucial reason for a show's potential greatness. And from my view recent albums have been slightly lacklustre. So the key, it would seem, is to chose the set list wisely. Last night was well chosen. Old and new. Hidden delights.

I could go through the show song by song, a dissection if you will. But that can get rather boring. I might like to give some impressions though. John Darnielle, that wizardly man, was sporting longer hair. In his words, "a hair style". He has also lost none of his joy and considerable vigour. Prancing around the stage like a caged snake. He reacts with an audience like few performers. So warm and engaging. Charismatic and an intelligence that fairly drips off his brow. He discussed his history, love and death. Portland, Oregon and how much he loved the Sydney audience. Something I would concur with in this case. Sydney, take a bow. Peter Hughes was his usual sartorial self, whilst Jon Wurster gave impeccable timing and thrust on the drums. Especially on what I thought turned out to be highlight of the night. "Hast Thou Considered The Tetrapod" was a bulwark of impenetrable greatness. Strength in numbers. Of the newish tunes "Damn These Vampires" worked best. Of the absolute newest, "The Diaz Brothers" proved best, a new approach to Darnielle songwriting. Unfortunately "In Memory Of Satan" failed to fly. A trip back to "Tallahassee" proved triumphant. "Game Shows Touch Our Lives" was a holy cow moment. Then the encore was a crowd pleasing hit parade. HAIL SATAN!!!!! Oh yes, once again, a trip to the land of the Goats was an incredibly satisfying one. Linger here.   

Set List
For Charles Bronson
Old College Try
You Or Your Memory
Damn These Vampires
Birth Of Serpents
Hast Thou Considered The Tetrapod
Woke Up New (John Solo)
You Were Cool (John Solo)
Love Cuts The Strings (John Solo)
In Memory Of Satan
The Diaz Brothers
White Cedar
Dance Music
Love Love Love
Psalms 40:2
International Small Arms Traffic Blues
Game Shows Touch Our Lives
Southwood Plantation Road

This Year
No Children
The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton


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