10/06 Reynolds Industries Theatre, Durham, NCRead More
10/09 The National* , Richmond, VA
10/10 The Ottobar* , Baltimore, MD
10/11 Theatre of the Living Arts* , Philadelphia, PA
10/13 Music Hall of Williamsburg* , Brooklyn, NY
10/14 Music Hall of Williamsburg* , Brooklyn, NY
10/15 Bowery Ballroom* , New York, NY
10/16 Bowery Ballroom* , New York, NY
10/18 House of Blues* , Boston, MA
10/19 The Haunt* , Ithaca, NY
10/20 Phoenix Concert Theatre*, Toronto
10/22 Ladies Literary Club*, Grand Rapids, MI
10/23 Pabst Theatre* , Milwaukee, WI
10/24 The Varsity Theatre*, Minneapolis, MN
10/26 Blue Moose Taphouse* , Iowa City, IA
10/27 The Vic Theatre* , Chicago, IL
11/04 Mountain Stage, Huntington, WV
*with Matthew E. White
The Mountain Goats' new single, "Cry for Judas," is available as a free download. The song is from the forthcoming Transcendental Youth (out on October 2nd, 2012, via Merge Records).
Fletcher Opera Theater, Raleigh
Hopscotch Music Festival, September 07, 2012
It is well known that John Darnielle, the force behind the Mountain Goats, likes heavy metal music. It comes up in interviews often, and hearing him speak about his love of metal has made me feel a little softer towards heavy metal and its fans, who I had always presumed to be angry, awkward men I couldn't relate to. I am not a metal fan, but I love it when people love music.
The Mountain Goats played two sets to a hushed crowd at the Fletcher Opera Theater on Friday, the second night of the Hopscotch Music Festival. The first set was a showcase of heavy metal songs, Darnielle solo in the spotlight on a large piano. Darnielle's sharp, earnest talk-singing was occasionally backed by a trio of barbershop singers. My description sounds ridiculous, but the performance profoundly touched me. The complex guitar riffs of the metal songs were arranged beautifully for the piano. Stripped down, the songs sounded clear and meaningful to my ears. I do not know enough about metal to know quite which songs Darnielle was singing, but when he paused in one of the songs to sing in his own manner, "All Hail Satan!" I wanted to stand up and cheer. My companions and I giggled appreciatively from high up in the rafters.
For his second set the piano was exchanged for a guitar, and Darnielle played a selection of self-described rarities from his own extensive catalog. I stayed for just a few of them, admiring the wordplay in his lyrics and the simplicity with which he presented them. The audience was quietly respectful, listening to an honest man and his guitar.
It is an exciting time for the Mountain Goats; the latest album, his fifteenth since 1994, is coming out October 2, on Merge Records with a month-long tour to follow. I hope John Darnielle will keep some of those metal covers in his repertoire this fall.