Eels at First Avenue Poster
Opening up the show was That 1 Guy (aka Mike Silverman) from Las Vegas, Nevada. Silverman is a one-man-band, playing music with his homemade “Magic Pipe” - a 7-foot instrument designed by Silverman. That 1 Guy’s music is unlike anything you have heard, thanks to the custom pipes, bass strings, and odd electronic loops.
In addition to the odd progressive jazz and experimental funk (fused with some electronic sound) music, you can see Silverman doing sock puppets and an occasional magic card trick. It’s hard to imagine that one man can do all that by himself!
Silverman ended his 30-min set with the title track from his 2007 album The Moon is Disgusting (Jezebel Records Inc).
The return of Eels with 2018’s The Deconstruction is pretty important, because after their 2014 tour and album release, Mark Everett (aka “E”) had reconsidered retiring from music. He was simply burnt out from the constant tour and constantly producing new music. So the band took a break, and E tried out acting (appearing in Netflix’s Love), and spent time with his family.
Seeing the band on stage, the four year hiatus was good for Eels, the band looked and sounded great, and they looked like they were really enjoying themselves.
As we already covered in our quick take via the podcast, we mentioned how Eels’ last Twin Cities appearance in May 2014 appeared on the front page of national news outlet, because of an unexpected appearance by beloved singer Steve Perry (having been absent from music in nearly two decades).
To top their last show, Eels did two Prince cover songs on their set. You would think this is a fitting tribute to playing First Avenue (the venue prominently appeared in Purple Rain) or that Prince would have been 60 that week (June 7), but no... this was just the standard 2018 Eels setlist. The band decided these were the songs they were going to play. Still, it was very nice to see the entire audience at First Avenue singing along or cheering at the two Prince songs: “Raspberry Beret” (done early in the set) and “When You Were Mine”.
After playing “I Like the Way this is Going”, singer Mark Everett started his standard band introduction, but with astrology signs and little known facts about each of the band members: Mark Everett (“E”) on vocals/guitars, Jeff Lyster (“The Chet”) on guitars, Kelly Logsdon (“Koool G Murder”) on bass, and Joey Waronker (“Little Joe”) on drums. And just a note about the band, although it’s been four years, the band (with new drummer) played as if they’ve been practicing for the last 20 years. They were very, very good.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an Eels show without their big hit single, “Novocaine for the Soul”... but it started off very unrecognizable. It wasn’t until Everett muttered the words “Life is hard, and so am I” did you see the audience going absolutely nuts.
The double encore started with the Prince cover “When You Were Mine”, and after a break, Everett returned to the stage. At first without the band. After ringing a tiny bell and still no band, Everett took out the air horn. Soon enough, the band rushed back on stage. Clearly, they’ve been doing this gag night after night, but it was still pretty funny. The rest of the encore were played, which included a Brian Wilson cover of “Love and Mercy” (the first solo single post-Beach Boys), medley with “Blinking Lights (For Me)” and “Wonderful, Glorious”
It’s been a long time, but it’s good to have Eels back with The Deconstruction (out now via EWorks / PIAS).
Remaining tour dates:
06/10—Philadelphia, PA—Union Transfer
06/12—Washington, DC—Lincoln Theatre
06/17—Mannheim—Maifeld Derby Festival
06/29—Hamburg, Germany—Mehr! Theater
06/30—Luxembourg, Luxembourg—Siren’s Call
07/2—London, UK—O2 Academy Brixton
07/3—Manchester, UK—Manchester Academy
07/4—Glasgow, UK—O2 Academy
07/6—Dublin, Ireland—Iveagh Gardens
07/8—Werchter, Belgium—Rock Werchter
07/12— Madrid, Spain—Mad Cool Festival
07/13—Lisbon, Portugal—NOS Alive Festival
07/16—Feldkirch, Austria—Poolbar Festival
07/20—Lucerne —KKL Blue Balls Festival
|That 1 Guy||That 1 Guy||Eels||Eels||Eels|
Eels at First Avenue, Minneapolis (05 June 2018)