How is that for a title?
Last Sunday night, I went to something incredible. The Mountain Goats were back in town to deliver a concert that was promised at the last show in 2008. This was to be an epic show delivered to those of us who endured but loved the December 2008 show which saw the crowd and Peter Peter Hughes singing most of the songs because John Darnielle was too ill to sing.
I was quite a fan girl and wore my Babylon Springs tour t-shirt which I re-fashioned a few hours earlier so it now had more of a boat neck and shorter sleeves – way more comfy then it was originally and a lot less neck strangling now by said shirt. The old tour shirt coupled with my front row spot in front and just a bit to the left of PPH would yet again cement me as the fan girl that I am. It was my fifth show. I thought it was my only fourth but then I went through tour date archives and yep last Sunday was show #5 for me. By far, the most times I have seen an international act.
The support act was Crayon Fields. I don’t know what really to say about them but I am sure there could have been a better support act picked. I didn’t mind a few of the songs but I don’t think I would be rushing out to see them again.
And really the crowd was here to hear and see the promised Holy Grail. To which after playing the first song, we get the obligatory, “Hi, we’re the Mountain Goats” and then this, “Ladies and gentlemen of Brisbane, I owe you one and youâ€™re about to get it”. Big exceptions were held by a few people I spoke to in the crowd. I however, learnt some time ago even if something big is promised to you, not to expect 200% as your hopes will be dashed if you only get 150%. I was expecting a long show with lots of old favourites, some obscure ones, some new things and talking and story telling. I had a list of some songs I expected to be on the set list on my head and I got the majority of those songs on my wishful set list. I got my 199%. I was quite happy.
I had a few observations on the crowd though. The crowd seemed to be a lot younger this time than last. I remember the last few shows I would say I felt like I was one of the younger people there, this time though I would say half the crowd looked like they were between 18-21 and not the 25-35 I remember last time. There didn’t seem to be quite the same buzz in the crowd, the sing-a-longs were a lot quieter than I recall. Maybe I’m just recalling my younger days too fondly.
I did have a gripe with a fellow crowd member and I was “oh, this close” to turning to her and telling her to close her mouth. Now I have no problem whatsoever with people singing along when it is a sing-a-long song like say This Year or Going to Georgia but singing along to songs when no one else in the crowd is and for those round you, your singing is louder than JD’s, yeah I have a problem with that.
Back to the topic at hand and that is music, Mountain Goats music, those magic words with that magic music that makes all those other things fall away into the beer stained floor boards.
What wondrous words were spoken/sung/shouted you ask? Well following is the titles of those songs.
1 Samuel 15:23
Old College Try
Your Belgian Things
Letter From Belgium
The Day the Aliens Came
Color In Your Cheeks
The Monkey Song
Going to Georgia
Ezekiel 7 And The Permanent Efficacy Of Grace
Houseguest (Nothing Painted Blue cover)
If you know me extremely well or have listened and actually really listened to me babble on about the Mountain Goats at one point or another which in my mental tally probably equates to probably zero people. You will see one song in that set which might make you smile at the thought that Helen would have really loved finally seeing that song live.
That song would be The Monkey Song and the most remarkable thing about seeing that song live, is that I requested it and JD picked my request….. Oh yeah my request, I say. I must actually confess that it was my second request as JD vetoed my first request of The Sign. He was telling us a tale of a concert he had gone to when he was 7 or thereabouts and the singer had asked everyone to yell out requests and he would pick one. JD to this day wants to know if he actually heard a song and picked one or just picked one himself. During this the entire crowd were yelling songs. Then there was a moment of silence and JD leaned over to where I was standing and asked what song I wanted. I bashfully asked for The Sign and he said something along the lines of “no, something else?” Then I said “The Monkey Song”, he said “what?” then I said “Monkey in the Basement”. He stood up and presented us with the below little piece of magic which someone else every so kindly recorded and put on youtube.
I didn’t get a tour shirt as I had planned because it was black. I don’t like black t-shirts, I have one black t-shirt and that is my Breeders t-shirt because frankly it was the only thing on offer. The shirt was pretty cool and you can see a picture of it here if you care (I love the added post-it notes)
Do you know how many concerts I’ve been to at The Zoo and failed at getting a poster? Many, many times, this is the only poster I’ve managed to score and it currently is blu-tacked to the wall above my bed quite happily reminding me of all my past tMG memories.
Till next time, I enjoy the Mountain Goats on the stage at The Zoo (because frankly that is their Brisbane stomping ground though a Troubie show would be kinda cool). I leave you with this. If you were at the show, you will get a laugh and know what this means, if you weren’t well just enjoy it for what it is and enjoy it for what it isn’t