The Mountain Goats: Live at The Fillmore
Posted at 11:40am, 7/6/2011
The Mountain Goats have received some level of critical acclaim since their inception in the early 90s and have released a steady stream of albums, the most recent of which being All Eternals Deck in March 2011.
While their music is lyrically interesting with a unique vocal sound, I didn’t have the highest hopes for their live show at the Fillmore on June 20. Their songs can easily blend together due to the small amount of dynamic variety they express.
To my surprise, front man John Darnielle and band performed with an extremely high energy level, breaking up what could have easily turned into a rather monotonous show. Darnielle seemed to truly be enjoying himself and letting loose. He took over the stage and openly joked with the audience about people who discredit modern-day music, saying, "There's plenty of good music, you tiresome fuck!" His quips and genuine excitement made the show much more enjoyable and it was rather hard not to laugh at the endearingly nerdy guy in glasses swearing and dancing across the stage.
The band also decided on an excellent variety of songs from their musical catalog including the heartfelt "Dinu Lipatti’s Bones" from their 2005 album The Sunset Tree. Their musical decisions were clearly made to satisfy their loyal fans, further exciting the audience beyond Darnielle’s act itself.
However entertaining the spectacle, the show was not a life-changing experience by any means. Though the band did keep the audience’s attention, The Mountain Goats would do well to explore new sounds to add some variety to their songs. They generally sound the same as they did eight years ago, with Darnielle half-singing while a guitarist strums along with the occasional addition of piano and drums. Though The Mountain Goats are easy to listen to with their beautiful and personal lyrics, they won’t be able to go much farther without some sort of experimentation or added interest. Even as a semi-loyal follower, I found myself waiting to hear what Darnielle had to say in between the songs rather than the songs themselves.
Whatever the future holds for The Mountain Goats, it is instantly visible that they are truly enjoying the ride, though that is not the only element needed to reach a higher level of success in such a diverse and experimental time for music. However, true fans would do well to experience the live show; it gives on a more personal perspective into the already personal music that The Mountain Goats have consistently released.
- Kara Henderson
Listen to our Mountain Goats Mix below featuring eight tracks from seven of their studio albums.
The Mountain Goats Playlist
[ play ]
All Eternals Deck was released in March via Merge Records.