I'm sure it's completely wrong, but I think Steven's whole 'I have a hot, young girlfriend and an (alleged) coke problem" vibe is hot. Whatever it is, he looks good. And to be even more superficial and wrong, I think his hot, young girlfriend (pictured above) is hot.
Anyway, his set was amazing. He's completely awesome solo with a backing band. This seems like it should be fairly obvious, as that basically describes BNL, but it's different yet equally awesome. I've really grown to adore the album he put out a couple years ago, so it was great hearing most of those songs live. Then he did a cover of All For Leyna by Billy Joel which I have video of here and seriously, watch this video. It's visual proof of why I'm madly in love with him.
This was Steven's set list. My roommate Katie got it after the show and then had it signed. I have a terrible picture of myself with Steven that won't be showing up anywhere, because I look awful. There were tons of people trying to get autographs and pictures and it was sort of hugely nerve-wracking and I wouldn't have even attempted to deal with that just to get a picture if it hadn't been for the whole getting the set list thing. My issues, let me show you them.
Ugh, have I mentioned how much I heart John Darnielle? Can I repeat it ad nauseum? Seriously, so many hearts. This second show was my favorite one, because John told way too many stories and had to cut out some songs because he was talking too much, but he tells such funny and interesting stories that I could probably have listened to him talk all night (I was always sad their sets only lasted an hour). I'm trying to think of what they played each night, because the only song they played at all three shows was Your Belgian Things. He seemed to indicate that he played some stuff he didn't normally do, just because there probably weren't lots of people who were familiar with them and he could kind of play whatever. He played The Monkey Song the first night which he said he doesn't play very often and it was so fantastic. I own several of their albums and they've been one of my favorite bands since I first heard them, but I wasn't familiar at all with their back back catalogue (like except for the copy of Beautiful Rat Sunset I found at a used record store, I didn't know anything pre-We Shall All Be Healed) so hearing some of those older songs was incredible. I have several videos of this second show, but I'll highlight No Children because it's one of my top 5 favorite songs released since 2000 (yes, that's an actual list I made when I chose High Fidelity for this book club I'm in with my parents and I made everyone in the club make some sort of top 5 list).
Also, Kevin McDonald and Dave Foley introduced them and Kevin is a huge Mountain Goats fan apparently and it was kind of awesome how much some of the people on the boat, like Kevin and Steven Page, clearly were totally in love with them. JOHN DARNIELLE! HE MAKES ME TYPE IN ALL CAPS!
After the show, my roommate Katie and I tried getting all three guys autographs, though we only managed to find Jon Wurster and John. John was insanely nice to us, maybe because aside from some people who got their pictures taken with him, we seemed to be the only people that night trying to get autographs. I had forgotten to bring an album, so I got this poster of the cruise signed and that was was a total highlight. Then I felt really ridiculous because he told us to come to the final show the next day and I was all, "Uh, maybe! Bye!" and it was like, "Did I really just say I might not come back? BECAUSE I'M SO COMING BACK!" I blame the rum & cokes and my inability to converse naturally with people I don't know. I'm not even a huge fan of rum & coke normally, but they were one of the cheaper mixed drinks you could buy. I could make a whole separate entry about how much I spent on alcohol. IT WAS A LOT, OKAY?
Then we saw Kevin McDonald and Dave Foley do Kids in the Hall sketches and I highly enjoyed that. It was very haphazard and there were lots of really hilarious technical difficulties, but it was great to see them do stuff live. This is them doing their Citizen Kane sketch.
I think that was all we saw that night, because we weren't about to go outside on the pool deck to see Acid Wish again as it was incredibly cold and windy. I heard from some guy that only about 30 or so people were actually out there. We went to a listening party some time that day for BNL's planned box set and that was pretty interesting. OH, and because Katie had been on the first cruise she got to go to a Songwriter's Panel with Steven and John Darnielle and John K. Samson from the Weakerthans and a bunch of other people and apparently it was amazing and my other roommate and I were super jealous of her. There is video of this on YouTube and John Darnielle performed the shit out of See America Right (I love John K. Samson and Steven kind of rocking out to him playing) and a couple other songs.
So we were supposed to go to Norwegian cruise line's private island, Great Stirrup Cay, but you had to take boats from the ship to get there and the weather was so bad that they had to cancel it due to safety issues. So we went to Key West instead, which was also freezing cold. We also planned to go snorkeling while we were there and that was canceled too. So we basically just walked around Key West for a couple hours. It's a nice place, though very touristy and I think we would have needed to actually do some sort of excursion to get away from all the really touristy type stuff.
So I went to see the last Mountain Goats show by myself, since my roommates wanted to see Kevin Hearn's solo set (I kind of had to flat-out run from where we were eating dinner to the show so that I wouldn't miss anything). I don't know what other things I can say to describe how amazing they were. My dad's video camera was dying and I kept trying to charge the batteries, but they sort of officially went dead during this show. I have the first two minutes of The Mess Inside and I'm really disappointed I couldn't get it all, because it was a great performance. They closed with This Year and everybody who was sitting on the floor got up and there was sort of a dance party and it was a bit overwhelmingly amazing (I noticed about halfway through that Kevin McDonald was dancing with everyone and that was really cool).
We had tickets to the last BNL main stage concert with Sarah McLachlan as their opener. She's great at what she does, I just don't particularly love her music. I'm trying not to be all, "I hate so much about the things that you choose to be." She seemed really cool and she had Jim Creeggan and Butterfly Boucher playing and singing with her and I enjoyed her set, just maybe not to a huge degree.
BNL's show was really great, they played some of my favorite songs like Everything Old is New Again and This is Where it Ends and I always love them in concert, so it was a really fun night. Really about 75% of the reason I love them is that they put on amazing live shows, so I think 5 days of seeing them perform on a cruise is the greatest thing ever (and according to some dude in the late night buffet line, their managers don't want them to do a cruise next year or something so I'm so glad I went this year).
After that, we saw about three songs by the Odds (which was the only time outside of them as Acid Wish that we saw them play) and then they did this all-star jam till about 4 in the morning where basically everybody on the cruise got up on the tiny stage in the bar and played cover songs. Only my roommate Katie stayed till the very end and apparently they blew a fuse and kept playing for almost an hour in the dark, which she said was amazing.
So we had to get off the boat by about 10 a.m. on Friday morning and we kept passing Peter Hughes (the bassist for the Mountain Goats) as we were leaving and Katie and I thought about trying to get his autograph finally, but we really didn't want to bother him. Then at the airport he kept walking past the gate I was at and I almost thought about getting his autograph then, but he was with his wife or girlfriend and I figured that would have been super weird (I already find asking for autographs in general weird and stress-inducing, so going up to someone in an airport terminal is a little much for me). Anyway, I mainly posted this picture and related this boring story because he's hot. THE END.
In conclusion and in summary, here are some songs by the Mountain Goats:
From TG&Y (oh my god, are you trying to make sob John Darnielle?)
The Boys are Back in Town (I bought some of their albums when I got back and then I downloaded their entire discography - which always makes me feel like a huge asshole and like if I ever see any band I do that to, I should just give them $100 or something - and this was in there somewhere and it's a rather great/hilarious cover of the Thin Lizzy song)
Sept 15 1983
New Star Song
The Mess Inside
The Monkey Song