I’ve been lucky enough to see the Mountain Goats a couple of times over the last few years; in 2006 at Troika, in an old garage, and John solo at the Durham Armory, and a sold out show at the Cradle in 2008. A sold out show in 2008 the night after the election in November, a joyous and almost scarily fierce crowd. t. and I stood to the side — I chose not to shoot the show — and it was one of those strange and surreal and gorgeously validating nights in the Triangle music scene and in the world. It was a crowd of people high on the idea of change, and John closed the show with “This Year”, a shiveringly triumphant version, and “Going to Georgia”, which made me stand there and cry silently (the most remarkable thing about coming home to you is the feeling of being in motion again).
We are unbelievably lucky to count the Mountain Goats among our local bands here. Yesterday was a hometown show for them, probably as many friends and people who know and love John as a person packed as tightly into the Cradle as rabid Mountain Goats fans who’ve never met him. It was, once again, joyous and triumphant and validating, in a completely different way. I had one of those weeks that was lovely and terrible all at once, stress and fear warring with love and familiarity and people I care about, and what I wanted at the end of it was to feel pressed in amongst a crowd of people who wanted nothing more than to sing and dance and let everything go.
Megafaun was great, the Mountain Goats were great; better than great. Loud and happy and transcendent, thrilled to be home. The hipsters danced and sang. The set list was amazing. I sat outside the Cradle during the spectacular encore, cried helplessly during “Woke Up New”, and closed my eyes and felt the thump of Wurster’s drums and Peter Hughes’ bass and the thrum of the crowd screaming “HAIL SATAN!” through the wall during the rest of it, the sound of what it’s like to live here and be, mostly, happy.
Full photo set here.
Setlist: Liza Forever Minelli/Southwood Plantation Road/Jeff Davis County Blues/Birth of Serpents/Estate Sale Sign/Rotten Stinking Mouthpiece/Family Happiness/Solo: My Favorite Things/Bad Priestess/There Will Be No Divorce/Outer Scorpion Squadron w/Yuval/Full band: Age of Kings/Dinu Lupatti’s Bones/Broom People/Damn These Vampires/Prowl Great Cain/Never Quite Free/This Year/Encore 1: Woke Up New (solo)/No Children/Palmcorder Yajna/The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton/Encore 2: California Song