We’ve been to our fair share of early week events at Headliners and each time it blows my mind when the venue is filled. This tells me patrons are not afraid of a little work week concert-going, especially if the band is of a high caliber. The Mountain Goats were in town for a Tuesday night Headliners show, and the place was packed.
This band is centered around John Darnielle and his song writing prowess- it is obvious that his lyrical and musical abilities drive everything they do. Before each song, particularly his solo bit, he spent a short time explaining what the song is about, and he did so in a quirky and personable way that literally silenced the entire place (which is a huge accomplishment at Headliners.) Darnielle has a raw charisma that makes him very likable and his songs that much more intriguing. The Mountain Goats certainly have a nineties sound, but it is one that hasn’t gone out of style, specifically because of their content. This latest album, Beat the Champ, is really interesting because it is a themed album that is much more complex than just professional wrestling. Darnielle’s commentary made that clear throughout the night- song’s with a seemingly odd subject actually had a deeper and darker meaning. I mean when you can write about wrestling in a meaningful way, you’re certainly doing something right.
We’ll be catching these guys again at Shaky Knees in Atlanta in two weeks. I’m excited to see their set in the outdoor, festival setting that I love so much.