Tuesday, October 25, 2005

When Cass was a sophomore she planned to go to Swarthmore

The Mountain Goats with The Prayer and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers @ Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA 10/22/05

It's no wonder that in the Mamas and Papas song "Creque Alley", Mama Cass changed her mind about attending Swarthmore College and instead headed to New York to join the then vibrant Greenwich Village folk scene. Maybe she knew something about the place that we sure didn't because although both of the acts that played were very good, the annoyance factor was through the roof. In all fairness, we probably shouldn't have attended this show since it was rainy and miserable out that night and since it was intended to be only for the kids at the college (they let us in anyway), but me and Anne both like the Mountain Goats and the college is conveniently located within only a 20 minute or so drive of her place, so we decided to do it.

When we first got there, there were hardly any people there and the openers (sorry I don't feel like typing their very long name again) then proceeded to play a rousing set of kinda non-descript but very good indie rock. Then the place started to fill up. Since we both had to go to the bathroom, we lost our spot and when we came back, the entire main part of the venue (which is tiny and resembled an old log cabin complete with a fireplace and everything) was filled up, so I had to watch from the hallway and Anne had to watch from the stairs, which was annoying.

To make matters worse, when John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats came out with just a bass player for accompaniment, certain members of the audience (some very drunk, including some kids drinking a mysterious blue drink and signing something incomprehensible in Spanish) insisted on talking through it, thus almost completely ruining my enjoyment of his delicate, confessional, mostly acoustic-based songs. Regardless, Darnielle soldiered on, bantering freely with the audience and telling stories such as the one about the first official Mountain Goats show in LA back in 1992, which happened to occur the same day the LA riots started. Many of the songs from their excellent new album The Sunset Tree were played as well as gems from the back catalog (which admittedly I'm mostly unfamiliar with). Towards the end of his set, the openers joined him for a short set as a full band, which was also quite good. This also continued into the encore, but at that point, the combination of the drunken, talkative college kids and the smoke filling the small venue just made both of us wanna hightail it out of there and we did just that, vowing to never attend a show there (or at another college) again.


Blogger frankenslade said...

Oh, you're getting old, man! Was this show at The Club at Swarthmore, a little stone building? I used to love playing there and going there, "used to" being the only part of that phrase I can be sure of today.

11:02 PM


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