The Mountain Goats @ Granada Theater
Words by Ross “Flapjack” Freauf
Photos by Anna “Hash Browns” Vernon
Lucky for those that dwell in Dallas, the Granada pulls in some pretty damn good artists. I walked in a little late and little buzzed like I’ve done so many times; this time to see what The Mountain Goats were all about. Get the whole story with a little extra Nintendo on the side after the jump.
I made it in time to catch the last half of the opening act, Owen Pallett’s solo project, Final Fantasy. I saw a single silhouette playing the violin and singing about what sounded to be the worst break up this meek gent had ever had. After I got to listen to a few more songs I felt like I had walked into a Zach Braff movie. I mean that with the utmost respect. Zach didn’t win a Golden Globe in 2005 for “Best Hair”; the guy has fantastic taste in music and it showed in the Garden State soundtrack.
The cliché songs of love and loss were undone by interruptions of a violin being absolutely tortured and twisted by the effects and overlays played by the tap of his foot. For someone who is not into sappy, boohoo, music; I give a thumbs up to the Flock of Seagulls haircut, violin playing, heartbreak kid known as Final Fantasy.
After a short intermission accompanied by a beer and a drag, my esteemed colleague and I were ready to experience The Mountain Goats. All four band members came on stage daunting their best version of The Beatles “Abbey Road” cover including the lead singer playing the role of Paul and wearing no shoes. The vibe of the crowd is by far the most low-key I’ve seen at the Granada. Don’t get me wrong, the attendees were into it and loving the jams being played but the ambiance was relaxed for sure.
MG played songs like “Tennessee”, No Children”, “Song for Denis Brown”, and “This Year” but what struck me was the down time in between songs. Their set was like something from VH1’s Storytellers. After every couple songs we got the short stories behind them and the crowd absolutely ate them up. Front man, John Darnielle, can tell a story that would put your Grandfather to shame. At one point in during the show he asked the crowd if they’d rather hear a song or a story. We were all on the same page, “we want another story!”
John told a story about the love and devotion of a man who went on a journey to free his soul mate from capture of a fire breathing dragon. John painted the picture of the man and his mushroom friend defending themselves during their adventure from evil turtles, life size bullets, bottomless pits, bridges that disappear in an instance and eventually facing the most evil villain ever, King Kupa. The crowd roared when he ended the story with the rescue of Princess Peach. “Mario and Peach lived happily ever after……. “ What came next was a wonderful “Ode to Princess Peach.” A weaker man may have shed a tear to this tune but I kept my composure.
I went into the show not knowing what to expect and came out impressed by all means. If the opportunity presents itself to see Final Fantasy or The Mountain Goats, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t go. So I give them two thumbs up, 4 out of 5 stars, and I’m sure if there were dentists in the crowd 4 out of 5 of them would highly recommend catching this tour.
See ya on the flipside,