As has been documented various times on the blog, the eels played another show in Milwaukee last Friday. As soon as I found out they were coming to town, I knew I had to attend. Here is my write up of how the show went, and hopefully we can get Heidi's view on it today too!
The show started with an extreme juggler - which yes, is very odd. He was kind of funny though, and it wasn't so much about the juggling as it was some humor and crazy on stage stuff. While it wasn't the most exciting opening act of all time, it wasn't awful. The crowd was reasonably into it, and he got the crowd amped up for the main attraction! Or so we thought...
Some random guy came out on stage next, and talked about how proud he was to introduce the next band. And how they've been touring all over Asia and just got back and were excited to play for us tonight. Apparently they were from Green Bay or something, and were thrilled to be back home. The band was super mellow and slow, and was WAY too much of a contrast to the juggler and then the eels. They were so meh that I don't even remember their name, which is very odd for me. I'll say their mediocrity helped in one thing, making the eels that much more wanted to be on stage.
Then it happened. The lights came on and the band started making their way out. The Chet on guitar, P-Boo on guitar, Koool G Murder on bass and two other guys playing horns and woodwinds. Yes, woodwinds. Then came the man, the one and only E. They opened to 'Flyswatter' off 'Daisies of the Galaxy'. Pretty good track to open with, fast paced and sing-alongy. I can't recall the exact setlist and none have been posted online, but there were a few that really stuck out for me. They played 'Souljacker Part 1' and did some funky guitar effects on it that made is super awesome. 'Prizefighter', 'Beginners Luck' and 'Tremendous Dynamite' were all excellent performances off 'Hombre Lobo'. Those tracks all had the crowd singing along as well. The biggest contrast to the show they did here in '09 at the Pabst, was the tone. Last year it was all about quick, fast songs - even if the original recording was slow. They beefed everything up and made it into a rock track. For this show, they slowed things down a couple of times, which was awesome. 'Climbing To The Moon' was an excellent choice by them and 'Blinking Lights - I'm Going to Stop Pretending I Didn't Break Your Heart' was spot on. Overall, I think I might have been one of maybe a couple dozen people belting out the lyrics - but it was awesome. E made it fun too by making some jokes in between tracks, and setting up some solid references to Milwaukee to get the crowd going. They came out for a double encore - which was semi expected but still awesome. I recall 'Dead Of Winter' and 'Fresh Blood' on them encores - and they rocked them both. I left with a giant smile on my face, and nothing but anticipation to see them again next year.
And I went with three people that never really listened to them before, and while I won't speak for Heidi, the other two seemed to really enjoy it. Both of them saying they'd go back to a show when they came back. That says a lot. And I hope that encourages some other readers to check out their performances sometime, even if you aren't familiar with their discography.
Bottom line, it was awesome. And I'll go back every single time they come around.