Pretty good week for gigs. Friday saw Queens of the Stone Age performing their first album in its entirety, followed by two encores of fan favourites and general awesomeness. Josh Homme is one of the finest live performers I’ve ever witnessed. A total badass, he smokes on stage and reads books he stole from the audience. Impressive crowd too, there was a sort of wormhole of a mosh-pit happening. Good fun, and a tiny venue considering how popular QOTSA are these days.
Saturday brought a midnight screening of The Shining to us, which was fucking awesome. ’nuff said.
Sunday was road trip to Milwaukee day. Stopped off at a cheese castle (basically a shop with lots of cheeses and snacks), and then drove into the city centre which was utterly dead. Piles of hail from earlier in the day remained on the ground, and it looked exactly how I always imagined Wisconsin to look. Caught up with two good friends I lived with for a few months last year in a peculiar dive-bar, that offered a $5 Prix Fix: One shot of Jameson, one can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and one cigarette. It also failed to ID me, my good luck continues.
Bright Eyes, whose set we didn’t stay all the way for, was pretty mediocre really. Conor Oberst just doesn’t do much for me these days – I’m a big fan of I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning, and similar stuff of that era, but he doesn’t grab me as a performer. However, openers Titus Andronicus were incredible. It was wonderfully satisfying to scream “YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A LOSER!” in the ears of every angsty teenage girl, and their barely more masculine boyfriends. You must see this band live.
Monday night was epic deep dish pizza. The great thing about this was that we know the waitress at this place, and she doesn’t really care about her job. Between three of us, we got through several beers, starters, dessert, and an enormous pizza (which yielded plenty of leftovers). It cost us thirty dollars. $30 for all that. Needless to say, I think we tipped a good 60 or 70 per cent.
And, of course, last night. The Mountain Goats. I’ve waited so long to see this band, and it was totally worth hanging on for. Support from Megafaun was, Titus Andronicus aside, the best opening set I’ve seen for a very, very long time. They performed as so much more than an opening band, worked the crowd up, and truly entertained. They sound a bit like The Low Anthem crossed with Band of Horses, if both had a better sense of humour. Check them out if you get the chance, I believe they used to play with Bon Iver and are related to similar project Gayngs.
The Mountain Goats themselves were stunning. John Darnielle looked so happy to be standing on that stage, and his band was no less cheery. Powering through songs past and present, Darnielle including such gems as ‘Cubs In Five’ – the lyrics of which were particularly awesome to hear the day after my very first baseball game at Wrigley Field.
“and the chicago cubs will beat every team in the league
and the tampa bay bucs will make it the way to january
and i will love you again”
No Children in the first encore was, as expected, superb. Second encore was This Year, where they were joined on stage by Megafaun. Brilliant show, and a pretty decent week all in all.
I’m off to get a haircut now. Peace out, y’all!