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On stage a woman dressed up in version of the little girl’s dress on the cover of Daisies of the Galaxy and a pair of flashing devil’s horns proceeds to tune up most of the instruments. As she finishes 2 nuns and a bishop wander onstage to tune up their respective instruments, a cellist who seems to be dressed up as a 1920’s schoolboy follows them on. But where’s E?
Six minutes of slightly self indulgent introductory jazzy noodlings later and bets are being taken as to which of the characters is actually E. Obviously the girl with the devil’s horns will whip her dress off to reveal that “she” was the elusive frontman. Eventually we are proven wrong as E is led on stage by a bouncer as a rapturous announcement tells us that “Maaarrrrrcus Ohliiveeeeeeeeeerrrr Everett is now on stage!!!!!!!!”. Praise the Lord and hide the silver!
So the gig kicks off “properly” and for a man that has a reputation of being a little demanding, (for example the story of him telling the audience to “sit down” because he was “emoting”), E actually turns out to be quite charismatic and very far removed from a prima donna. However at times Eels do pootle off into self-indulgency territory now and again. There are 4 drum solos and much of the set is actually crammed into the 3 encores. What the Eels seem to have brought us is something halfway between a musical and a gig…and funnily enough it works in this sort of venue.
Despite Butch the drummer telling us all that “I’ve probably made between 30 and 40 mistakes tonight… which I’m sure E will take up with me afterwards” nobody in the audience seems to mind. “It’s a Motherfucker” proves itself to be one of the most heartbreaking songs of the evening as its vulnerability on record seems almost glass like in such a spacious venue. Many of the songs are touching, others are almost funereal because of their subject matter but the Eels couldn’t give a shit. They were just there to have a good time as E pounded his organ and Lisa (the girl with the devil’s horns) strutted and danced her way around the stage swapping instruments like a precocious child who wanted to show off all her skills. The only shame is that more people didn’t get up and dance as it sometimes felt a little difficult to join in the fun. But then the all seated venue meant that there were more pearl necklaces than skinny Ts in the audience…and there always was the possibility that E could start “Emoting”.
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