Photos: Gary Magill
Mount Eerie performed at The Chapel last night, with Phil Elverum using his awkward wit to book a comedian as his supporting act. Between the distorted guitar drone of opener GNAGORIACEHT and the melancholy acoustic offers from Mount Eerie, stand-up comedian Jessica Sele did a comedy set about her experiences as a bisexual woman living in West Oakland. It was all very amusing indeed, but seemed a little out of place… especially when she yelled “Are your ready for MOUNT EERIE?” It’s not like Mount Eerie’s music is that depressing, but the unexpected humor did lighten the mood nevertheless.
Elverum performed a solo set as Mount Eerie, sharing mostly new material out of a little notebook he had with him on stage. After he played the first song “Sauna”, a droning synth-and-pedal piece, he stuck to acoustic guitar and vocals throughout most of the set. He asked for no effects on his vocals before introducing the hopeful, reflective little folk song, “Boat”. He also introduced a new song called “Dragon” before playing familiar Clear Moon opener “Through the Trees Pt. 2”. He also played the title track from that album, as well as “Wind’s Dark Poem”.
After he performed the last song on keyboards, Mount Eerie returned with his acoustic guitar on stage. “One more real quick”, he said, tuning his guitar. “I’m gonna play it so fast!” he joked before performing the somber ballad “Wooly Mammoth’s Mighty Absence.” He thanked the crowd and said he hoped to see us again, as the audience gradually pulled itself out of its sleepy trance from a night of subtle, emotional music and stand-up comedy.