Hokay, so. Shoooow.
Nobody answered my call for company but I discovered that some people from my high school were going and tagged along with them. This wasn't even awkward at first, since I'm so much better at sitting back and listening during the bits of conversations that don't involve my input without either feeling left out or jumping in with random shit and sounding like a tool (you should have met me six years ago, seriously). Of course then we accumulated some randoms in the form of a dude I met at the Zombie Lurch who just sort of showed up and recognised me, and a friend of his who showed up later and turned out to go to my uni. So THAT was a little awkward in that I ended up straddling the border between two conversations for the rest of the night, but my multitasking is pretty decent and I am perfectly capable of simultaneously going *g* at Beth picking cat hair off Rachel's cardigan and nodding earnestly at Christian's flood of Random Facts About Musicians He Has Met.
We claimed a spot where we could sit down that would have a decent view of the stage when the band came on and we stood up, and then waited for ages because Manning is pretty slow (well, I say that, I've been there all of twice, lol). Anyway the opening band, Baseball finally came on about fortyfive minutes after the doors opened. The internet had been going "umm srsly? that is such a weird choice, goats, wtf?" but Christian and his friend had been enthusing about them, so I made ready to go and mosh, but then, well. To put it bluntly, then they started playing. And, okay, they had a good rhythm section, so I can see how moshing could theoretically have been happening, but you guys, the music basically consisted of an electric fiddle and a shitload of incoherent screaming at top volume. Not my idea of a good time. So I left C and friend to it and went to sit back down with my friends, who spent the songs exchanging eyebrowtastic looks and the brief intervals during which we could hear ourselves think trying to figure out what the hell the "singer" was actually SAYING. I suspect most of the crowd, being fans of the Mountain Goats, who are COMPLETE 180 from that, was similarly unimpressed. You could sort of tell by the collective posture of the crowd. Of course I am informed by Christian that the Goats are fans of heavy metal and this was the metaliest band they could get away with, in which case I say... well, each to their own, I guess.
Anyway, the Mountain Goats FIIIINALLY came on, by god, and by then the place was pretty packed, so I didn't try to get down to the floor but I did move up towards the front a little bit. Sadly the result of that was to place me directly in front of the speakers for the first two songs, which were a) energetic & loud and b) had levels a little overbalanced towards the drums, so oww. I moved after that, and also they got a little more relaxed (and hell, maybe the sound folks made adjustments too) and after that it was a completely enjoyable experience. John Darnielle (Goats singer-songwriter, for those not In The Know) is utterly adorable with his dorky haircut and rambly stories. He started off by asking if any of us had ever flown to the US, or, like, spent four days awake on speed, because in either case we would understand how he felt right then. Jetlag kicked in in force around Michael Myers Resplendant and he sort of paused and went "wait, what am I singing" and had to start over.
It cannot have helped that they were all wearing THREE PIECE SUITS under the stage lights, what the hell? I am told it is Part Of The Image but I do not understand how they do not MELT. I was just talking to softlyforgotten
about the relative (literal) hotness of the Mountain Goats and Panic at the Disco: how Brendon Urie is a sweaty drippy mess in every Panic show pic ever, and all he ever wears is a flimsy shirt, while these guys are onstage dressed like businessmen, with fuckin' TIES on, just sorta, y'know, chillin'. Did they sell their souls to the god of air conditioning or what? Are they maybe vampires with no body heat issues? I would just like to take a moment to nominate the Mountain Goats for the Least Likely Band To Be Vampires Ever, ahaha, that would be brilliant and hilarious.
Now as y'all are aware I have totally fallen in love with their music over the past few months, to the point of managing to write an essay during which I listened to Lovecraft In Brooklyn eighty nine times without getting sick of it (and Christian insists I should post said essay, which, maybe I will after I get my marks back). Most of the songs were just as awesome live, and some more so, possibly due to the little stories that went with them (I for one had no idea that In Craters On The Moon was about drugs, what the hell? and I never really liked Wild Sage, but seeing John sing it has definitely upped my empathy level a bit) and the band was incredibly professional and sounded awesome. The bassist was very stoic and unimpressed-looking and a little snarky, and gave someone the set-list at the end. At one point the heat must have finally gotten the better of him and he took his jacket off. Revealing. A black vest. With, like, teddy bears on it or something, I couldn't quite make it out at that distance. SERIOUSLY, YOU GUYS.
They "closed" on Lovecraft in Brooklyn, saying that Australians seemed to love the song more for some reason, and then came back for an encore. I still wished it had lasted longer. A++ despite shitty openers. I was especially charmed by John's earnest explanation that they don't have a set playlist and basically it depends on what he feels like singing that day, because he never wants to HAVE to sing something or get sick of something or complacent.
I guess the electric fiddle didn't fill the fail quota though because on the way back I called my girlfriend and managed to sort of miss my bus stop a little bit and slightly have to walk halfway across the city. *looks sheepish* At least she calmed me down though, I was pretty wired coming out of there. Excitement plus people I'm not entirely at home with (ha!) can make me a little edgy and paranoid. This is why I don't do drugs, you guys :P. Anyway, whatever, GOOD TIEMS, people, feel free to make with the chagrin at not coming with.