Monday, April 11, 2011

Show Review: The Mountain Goats w/ Megafaun at The Cat's Cradle 4/8/11

The Mountain Goats at The Cat's Cradle on April 8, 2011
A barefoot John Darnielle entertained the sold out Cat's Cradle with a phenomenal double encore set that spanned over the Mountain Goats illustrious catalog with songs for the diehard fans and songs for the casual listeners as well.  But the joy of seeing Megafaun was still one of the brightest moments of the night, their set also tinged with old favorites like "Lazy Suicide" but some great newer songs like "Volunteer" and a song from their newly recorded record as well.  This sold out show at The Cat's Cradle is definitely my show of the year so far, the energy was fantastic and as a Mountain Goats fan through and through I walked away with an overwhelming feeling of joy from seeing one of my favorite bands absolutely kill it with another of North Carolina's best acts.  It was truly a showcase of the diverse yet breath taking array of music that North Carolina provides, and it was a night to remember.

Megafaun opened the night off with an amazing set, featuring songs like "Lazy Suicide", "Easy Your Mind", "The Longest Day" and a new song as well.  The band was visibly excited to be back home, and it was great to see them as excited to be there as the crowd was, because the environment at the Cat's Cradle that night was great. The band pointed out drummer Joe Westerlund's parents in the crowd after he belted out a swooning rendition of "His Robe", but the set ended with "The Process", which we were initially told that The Mountain Goats would be joining the band for, but they never came out.  All in all it was a great set from Megafaun and an excellent kick-off for the evening.

After Megafaun the crowd began to pack in tighter as the wait for The Mountain Goats crept up so slowly.  The sound of metal kicked in as the lights dimmed down though and it all seemed worth it as the band took the stage and opened up their set with "Liza Forever Minnelli", followed by one of my "Tallahassee" favorites in "Southwood Plantation Road".  It was clear right away that this full band set was going to feature some incredible songs from the catalog in some really exciting ways.  The night was filled with everything from clever quips on the microphone from Darnielle to heart dropping stories behind songs, as with the one before "Birth of Serpents" from their new album "All Eternals Deck".  The set was filled with the best songs off of the new album, but also with some songs that had never seen the stage before like with "Rotten Stinking Mouthpiece".

Darnielle played through a three song solo set though as well with songs like "Bad Priestess", "My Favorite Things", and "There Will Be No Divorce", before Yuval Semo took the stage with him for "Outer Scorpion Squadron".  The set winded down with a rendition of "This Year" with Megafaun and Mac McCaughan from Superchunk, but Darnielle and company came back for an encore almost immediately.  It opened up with a solo version of "Woke Up New" but featured "No Children", "Palmcorder Yajna" and "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton" with Megafaun.  We even got a 2nd encore with "California Song", and after John left the stage the rest of the band played on for a bit before taking their exits as well.

All in all The Mountain Goats set was phenomenal whether you were a casual listener or a die-hard fan because there was a little bit of everything in the set.  The band all looked genuinely excited to be back at the Cradle, as did Megafaun, and that energy definitely permeated throughout the room because by the end of the night I was filled with excitement, it was a night full of screaming lyrics back at the stage to your barefooted idol.  It's one of the nights you live for.

The Mountain Goats Setlist + Pictures & Video

Liza Forever Minnelli 
Southwood Plantation Road 
Jeff Davis County Blues 
Birth of Serpents 
Estate Sale Sign 
Rotten Stinking Mouthpiece 
Family Happiness 

My Favorite Things 
Bad Priestess 
There Will Be No Divorce 

Outer Scorpion Squadron (with Yuval Semo) 

Age of Kings 
Prowl Great Cain 
Dinu Lipatti's Bones 
Broom People 
Damn These Vampires 
Never Quite Free 

This Year (with Megafaun and Mac McCaughan) 

Woke Up New (solo) 
No Children 
Palmcorder Yajna 
The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton (with Phil & Brad Cook) 

Second encore: 
California Song

Featured below is a video of The Mountain Goats playing "Broom People" off of their album "The Sunset Tree":

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