With No Kids and JP Haynie
From acoustic to electric distortion, Mt. Eerie has subtle ways of bringing surprises. Tonight he brought the rain, the comfort of the Kilby fire pit and high hopes of hearing some live snippets from his recent release, Wind’s Poem.
Due to perfect timing, I arrived to see JP Haynie’s last two songs. At previous shows he has played solo and not been very interesting so I thought arriving late would be best, but tonight he had a full band and three back-up singers, which was quite enjoyable. If he plays again (with an artist I’m fond of) I would like to hear a bit more.
Toasty fire, quick rain and more people arrived in time for No Kids. The set-up looked pretty fun with two keyboardists (Julia Chirka and Nick Krgovich), and Phil Elverum (Mt. Eerie) as drummer. They worked in some interesting synth sounds, but with little pizzazz (dancing or sparkling costumes seemed fitting) the music wasn’t much fun to watch. At one point a spider dropped from the ceiling to dangle in front of Krgovich’s face as he sang. I had a secret hoping that a small gust would blow it closer, but the spider had the right idea to escape death and return to the ceiling to plot other fame snatching moves. After that I figured the entertainment for the eyes was gone, and enjoyed the rest of the set outside.
Another warm-up by the fire and it was back inside for Mt. Eerie. Tonight was the first time I’ve seen Mt. Eerie as more than just Elverum on guitar. He had two drummers whose kits included gongs (yes, very exciting!) and the two keyboardists from No Kids. At past shows it’s has been cozy enough to sit on the ground and get lost in each song. Tonight everyone was standing, and there were people coming and going throughout the set. With more instruments, the music turned into an almost hardcore ambience instead of the quiet stories I’ve grown fond of. This wasn’t bad. Thunderous drums matched with spooky synth and guitar. It just wasn’t what I expected, and as the crowd grew smaller I suppose others felt the same.
Though the new music was good, it was very different from the Mt. Eerie I enjoy. But change is good, and I look forward to whatever comes next. Let’s just not forget the “old” that got us here.