It’s hard to always know what to expect when catching The Mountain Goats live. The group, headed by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist John Darnielle, has gone through numerous evolutions since its initial conception as the lo-fi solo recordings of Darnielle.
While the songs of The Mountain Goats may range from tragic singer-songwriter solo efforts all the way to ballads featuring instrumentation nearly orchestral in nature, there is a single common theme that permeates through all of their work. That shared motif is a resonating, ever present earnestness within each of their tracks. Sometimes it’s a subtle implication behind mixed metaphors and indie-folk tunes as seen with tracks like “Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1” on 2012’s Transcendental Youth. Other tracks, such as “Pale Green Things” off of 2005’s The Sunset Tree hit you in the face with such emotion, that it’s hard not to relate to what Darnielle or the characters he’s carefully crafted for several of his albums have or are going through.
One would think such an experience would be relatively difficult to reproduce in a live setting, but The Mountain Goats somehow manage to pull it off on a consistent basis and last Saturday at The Jinx was no different of an occasion. The sold out show hosted by Savannah’s own MusicFile Productions was a similar environment to the last Mountain Goats show I attended. They somehow manage to make a packed room seem like an intimate living room show.
Sure, things may have gotten a bit rowdy and raucous at times (I’m not sure how many fights have ever broken out at a Mountain Goats show but the band can now put at least one on that list), but overall the crowd was focused on singing along with classic tracks like “No Children”, “The Diaz Brothers”, and “Up The Wolves” as well as new tracks like “Foreign Object”, “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero”, and “The Ballad of Bull Ramos” off of their latest, professional wrestling themed album, Beat the Champ.
When paired with Ides of Gemini, the openers of the night who played reverb laden, gloomy metal, the show was certainly an interesting one, and one I’d gladly like to experience again.
Check out a few shots of Ides of Gemini and The Mountain Goats below and make sure to hit the jump for the full set.