Click the photo for an auido slideshow. All photos by Laura Musselman.
What: The Mountain Goats, with Pony Up! When: Thursday, March 1 Where: Neumo’s Would Meatface approve? Yes, and he enjoyed a Linda’s burger before the show. And the hipsters? Yes, but they were too cool to sing.
One of the few things guaranteed to ruin a good concert is the sing-a-long. You arrive in time to scout out a good spot, have a few drinks, and then, when the show starts, instead of being treated to your favorite singer-songwriter’s voice, you are blasted from the guy behind you doing his morning shower rendition of every single song, often, I think, just to prove he knows all the words.
In the instance of last night’s performance by the Mountain Goats at Neumo’s, there was a very delicate balance between what could have regressed, had it not been a 21+ over show, into a Dashboard Confessional gig, and the fervent, well-timed interaction with the crowd that went down.
In fact, lead-singer John Darnielle often looked ecstatic that the packed house was actually there to see him and seemed to know some words to his songs. The highlight of the set-list, which, though well-rounded, drew heavily from 2005’s The Sunset Tree, was the rousing, upbeat, “This Year,” which elicited the loudest mass karaoke of the night and closed the first set. Also entertaining was a country/bluegrass rendition of “Dance Music,” and “Pigs That Ran Straightaway Into the Water, Triumph Of," which Darnielle noted was a recent addition to the live repertoire that came with the live drums.
Despite the fact that the two encores were notably brief, the chant of “Hail Satan!” that accompanied “The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton,” and Darnielle’s Mitch Hedberg-esque banter more than sealed this show as a memorable one.
If you missed this performance, however, don’t fret, the Goats are playing again tonight at the Triple Door at 8 p.m. in an all-ages affair.