John Darnielle, Jon Wurster, and Peter Hughes were in top form on Thursday night, pulling out a bunch of old songs as well as a speckling of new material from their current album Transcendental Youth.
It should be understood that when I say “top form” in relation to The Mountain Goats, it means more than with most other bands. These veteran indie rockers have an uncanny knack for keeping energy high, their music interesting and dynamic, and their lyrics so emotionally raw your ears blister with ecstasy. The band opened with a roaring rendition of “Up the Wolves” that had the entire venue pulling their hair out with adolescent joy.
Seriously, if Mountain Goats fans were the types to throw articles of clothing on stage, then the trio would have been knee deep in earth-tone cardigans and rimmed glasses.
I remember seeing the band play two years back in my native land of Texas (back when Darnielle was boycotting wearing shoes on stage) and lemme tell you, they had just as much energy and punch at House of Blues as they did when back then.
One of the best parts of seeing this band live (apart from the music, obviously) is Darnielle’s stage banter. Between songs he told stories about his new role as a father, waxed poetic on being really angst-ridden and into Satan, and threatened the audience with corny dad jokes. Fame hasn’t gone to their heads though, and the Mountain Goats expressed nothing short of undying love for their fans.
It was also pretty cool to stand so close that I could count John Darnielle’s nose hairs.
So… BAM! FOTOBOM!