eels supporting Tom Verlaine Saturday June 10, 2006 Point State Park Pittsburgh, PA

Saturday Morning/Old Shit-New Shit/Rock Show/Crazy/Eyes Down/Jesus Gonna Be Here/Mother Mary/My Beloved Monster/A Magic World/I'm Going To Stop Pretending That I Didn't Break Your Heart/Not Ready Yet/Dog Faced Boy/Souljacker Pt. 1/I Like Birds/I Put A Spell On You/That's Life

on setlist but not played: Last Stop: This Town/It's A Motherfucker/Railroad Man/I've Got A Line On You/Cancer For The Cure/Beautiful Freak

Another freebie as part of the Arts Fest. This version of the band came out rockin' (no pussy strings here) and put on a fun set. The weather was nice so the old lady and I made it a family affair with the kiddies in tow. Hanging with friends on a beautiful night...Aahhh, summer's here!

Al, the band's bassist, performed this weird schtick all night. He would dance (er, convulse) during the tunes and make these goofy (lame) comments in between songs.

Tom Verlaine and his crew did nothing for me and we bailed soon into his set.

E autographed Daisies Of The Galaxy CD cover

E autographed print

eels autographed flyer

 

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Concert preview: Eels change their tune

Friday, June 09, 2006

By Scott Mervis, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Yeah, I got a hunger for rock," says Mark Everett, frontman for the Eels, talking from a tour stop in Portland, Ore.

Everett is referring to the band's finally returning to rock form after a two-tour departure into an extended string quartet. Upon release of the 33-song opus "Blinking Lights and Other Revelations," the versatile alternative rock band from L.A. hit the road with a chamber quartet, coming home with the souvenir CD "Eels with Strings: Live at Town Hall."

"It was a pretty tall order, and we definitely had our hands full, but by the end of it, we felt a sense of accomplishment," Everett says. "That said, you go around the world twice with a string quartet where the drums are supposed to be and you start to hunger for something different. You have these dreams at night in your bunk on the bus where you're smashing a violin with your electric guitar."

Technically, the Eels are a one-hit wonder. They charted in 1996 with "Novocaine for the Soul," a quirky alternative rock tune that bordered on novelty from otherwise novelty-free "Beautiful Freak."

The downbeat brilliance of the Eels was further revealed to fans and critics with such records as the death-obsessed "Electro-Shock Blues" and the garage-rock/trip-hop-laced "Souljacker."

On the back burner was the sprawling, introspective "Blinking Lights," which Everett has called "a love letter to life itself, in all its beautiful, horrible glory."

"I guess they all are labors of love," he says of his records, "but that one was pretty work intensive. In my mind it was a double album, so it deserves double tours. Not that it's one of those records where one disc is acoustic and one is rock or something like that. I just felt like going out and doing the string thing wasn't enough. It deserved more in its honor."

The Eels played Rosebud after releasing "Shootenany" in 2003 but never made it to Pittsburgh with the string tour. Now, it returns as a straight-ahead rock band to open for Tom Verlaine Saturday night at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, the kind of gig where Everett will likely be playing to the uninitiated.

He jokes that the band has gotten pretty adept at adapting to these situations.

"One of our problems is we're often signed up to do things based on what we did the year before, and so maybe someone saw us with a string quartet last year, and they signed us to play at some spoken-word poetry author festival and we come out with our guns blazing.

"The opposite can happen, too. They see us with our guns blazing and they sign us up to play with Nine Inch Nails or something, and we come out with little lutes and glockenspiels. We're always one year ahead or behind where we're supposed to be."

The Eels perform a free concert at 6 p.m. at Point State Park.

 

Concert Reviews: Eels, Tom Verlaine shake up Arts Festival

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

By Scott Mervis, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

To paraphrase Mark Everett of the Eels -- we can't print what he actually sang to the mixed crowd of families and hipsters at the Three Rivers Arts Festival -- "I'm tired of the old [stuff], let the new [stuff] begin."

Having dispensed with the string quartet of the last tour, the Eels came out Saturday night with a chip on their shoulder and put on a raunchy rock show that has to go down as one of the highlights of the festival, if not the entire concert season.

Looking half-crazed in his flight suit and goggles, Everett led a highly entertaining four piece, complete with Krazy Al, who appeared to be a security thug but assimilated into the band on guitar, keyboards, maracas and frenetic dancing. They plowed through their thrashiest stuff, including "Dog-Faced Boy" and "Souljacker, Part I," banged out Iggy Pop's "Rock Show" and Tom Waits' "Jesus Gonna Be Here" (sounding like the Beatles at the Cavern Club) and closed with hilariously over-the-top takes on "I Put a Spell on You" and "That's Life."

A chill came over the evening, in the air and the speakers, with the appearance of headliner Tom Verlaine, who sculpted a set of cool, haunted, New York-style guitar rock with spare arrangements and songs that kept shifting shapes. Verlaine tossed aside his Television era to focus on his latest record, "Songs and Other Things," while also offering early solo favorites like "Words From the Front" and "Kingdom Come." With his whispery vocal delivery and intricate guitar work, the music required a patience that had a thinning effect on the crowd.

 

 

 

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