My lasting impression of Monday’s 75-minute, 15-years-in-the-making set by Georgian psychedelicats Neutral Milk Hotel at First Avenue was how visceral and downright punk it wound up being. The performance sounded better-suited to clubs like the neighboring 7th Street Entry (where NMH played before the hiatus) than the theaters it is now playing in other cities.
How many bands out there wouldn’t love to go on hiatus for a decade and a half and come back playing thrice-bigger venues? Not to mention, how many vain rock ‘n’ roll singers wouldn’t like all their press to include photos from 15 years earlier, which Mangum has achieved by disallowing photography (including cell pics) at his concerts and even refusing to issue a current publicity photo.
Read the full review of the concert here or in Tuesday’s newspaper. There weren’t really any surprises in terms of the set list. Although he hasn’t played it anywhere else, I thought maybe Jeff Mangum would drop “Communist Daughter” into the show since the (very non-NMH-sounding) Twin Cities band named after the song was performing in the Entry after NMH’s show. No dice, though. Here’s what he and the band did play on Night 1 of their two-night stand (look for a little variety but not too much on Tuesday, based on other cities).
Two Headed Boy (Part 1) / The Fool / Holland 1945 / A Baby for Pree / Glow Into You / Gardenhead / Leave Me Alone / Everything Is / The King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1 / The King of Carrot Flowers, Pts. 2 & 3 / In the Aeroplane Over the Sea / Naomi / Ferris Wheel on Fire / Oh Comely / Song Against Sex / Ruby Bulbs / Snow Song Pt. 1 ENCORE: Ghost / [untitled] / Two Headed Boy. Part 2 / Engine