Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Mountain Goats & Final Fantasy warm Austin up

Posted by teibs On November - 19 - 2009

mountaingoats1@DoctorCollins Austin’s recent brush with brisk weather and the Mountain Goats’ ability to draw out the coolest of the cool kids gave Antone’s the feel of a hip mountainside ski lodge after a day on the slopes. The calm, sweater-clad crowd gathered around the stage as if it were a crackling fire, patiently waiting for the bands to provide them with warmth through their musical stylings. The Mountain Goats and Final Fantasy were happy to oblige (pictured right). Their brand of intimate, thoughtful song writing offering welcome respite from the increasingly chilly weather. With colorful scarves draped carefully around their necks, the polite concert-goers broke their manners only to yell out song requests or compliments bathed in adoration.

The Mountain Goats started the show as a talented quartet filling the building with full, vibrant sound that kept heads bobbing and feet tapping along with the music. As the evening wore on band members would leave the stage with a remorseful nod and a sullen wave as if to say, “Wish I didn’t have to leave, but I better get going.”

Frontman John Darnielle eventually found himself alone on stage, providing the ideal opportunity to perform his low-fi songs from early in his career that truly define his music. At this point, Darnielle looks like the kind of guy that should be playing Xbox with his son after a long day at some kind of office job, not a guy who has 17 full length albums and 18 years of touring under his belt. His comfortable stage demeanor affords him an instantaneous rapport – the crowd eager to listen as he wanders aimlessly down whatever path his stories will take him before candidly admitting, “I didn’t really know where I was going with that one” and launching into the next song.

Final Fantasy – which is really just a fancy name for one-man-band Owen Pallett – played an opening set that was more magician than musician. Apparating full, resounding sounds from his violin before recording them and repeating them with adept use of his foot pedals, Pallett created the illusion that there were far more people on the stage than just him (he was joined by a Golem-esque assistant who provided some percussion but was clearly just providing backup). Never before have I seen one man do so much with a violin.

As everyone in attendance hoped and assumed he would, Final Fantasy joined Darnielle on stage for a song of Pallett’s choosing before The Mountain Goats band mates returned to continue their jam session. The musician collective tried to stop for the evening before the crowd taunted them back for two more songs that still weren’t enough.

The show evoked feelings of what The Mountain Goats were born from – late night hangouts with friends drinking beer, playing music and telling outlandish stories. For this one evening, Austin found out what it was like to be a house guest in Darnielle’s home.

  • Mountain Goats: 8.1/10
  • Final Fantasy: 8.9/10

Photo by Chrissy Piper

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