Mount Eerie, No Kids, and Prayer Breakfast at the Banneker Community Center – November 6, 2009

I saw Mount Eerie on Friday night and they were amazing. They put on a great great show and I recommend seeing them if you ever get the chance. I was lucky to see them touring behind Wind’s Poem because it is such an amazing album. My coverage is below and there are images and videos that I couldn’t include in the post (for length’s sake) so you can check them out on my Flickr page and my YouTube channel. This is the first concert I have covered with my new Flip Video MinoHD and I have to say, the quality is amazing considering how small the thing is. My hand was a little shaky, but you get the idea.

Originally published on The Live Buzz, 8 November 2009

Mount Eerie 6 November 2009 (15 of 17)

On Friday night a crowd of dedicated fans trekked out to the Banneker Community Center to see one of the most prolific independent musicians, Phil Elverum, play with his band, Mount Eerie. I say trekked because the Banneker Community Center is on the west side of Bloomington, and is not a known musical venue. Obviously, I was not the only one who had never been to the center before as some people were hazy as to the rules about alcohol on the premises (in case you’re wondering, they do frown on drinking inside a community center’s gym).

Mount Eerie 6 November 2009 (4 of 17)
Prayer Breakfast (resident noise guitarist Jared Cheek is out of frame to the left)

Local supergroup Prayer Breakfast was the first band to play. This was not the first time that I have seen them play, but it was certainly my favorite. Most of their songs start out soft and crescendo with the harmony and dual guitars of Mike Adams and Mike Dixon. They played songs off their 12″, Small American, and some new songs that I had never heard before.

This is their self-proclaimed hit single, “Clover Crowns.”

At one point Mike Adams broke a string and Mike Dixon led the crowd in an impromptu “Master of Puppets” singalong, followed by a Cher cover. If you get the chance, make sure you see the greatness that is Prayer Breakfast.

Mount Eerie 6 November 2009 (6 of 17)
No Kids

Up next was No Kids, an indie pop band from Vancouver. On this tour, No Kids consists of the same personnel as Mount Eerie, except with Phil Elverum playing drums in No Kids. While the album is very poppy, they were more low-key live, and reminded me of British crooner Aqualung.

Here is No Kids playing “Written in the Wind.”

The vocalist and keyboard player, Nick Krgovich, was soft spoken but confident displaying wide vocal range. He explained some of the songs, including an imagined dialogue between a young and old couple from a picture he had seen in Vanity Fair. One of the more interesting songs he wrote was about Rock Hudson looking out a window of his mansion as he died alone of AIDS. This sounds pretty bad, I know, but the song is beautiful and displayed the imaginative narrative style of the rest of Krgovich’s music. Songs like “For Halloween” were more upbeat, but overall the set was fairly soft and intimate.

Mount Eerie 6 November 2009 (9 of 17)
Mount Eerie

After No Kids finished there was a short break as they switched places and prepped for their transformation to Mount Eerie. Everybody came to their feet as the band assembled and gathered basketballs to use later in the show. The set started with an explosion of sound, as they played “Wind’s Dark Poem,” the first song off their new album, Wind’s Poem. Many in the music press called this album their “black metal album” since it has loud to soft dynamics that are not generally seen in what is generally accepted as “indie” music. “Wind’s Dark Poem” starts with a barrage of guitar noise and hectic drumming, which appears throughout the album, and was present throughout the band’s live set.

Here is Mount Eerie performing “The Hidden Stone” (And Phil Elverum encouraging people to get closer).

The lighting was just a few lamps, which created a creepy atmosphere that fit the music perfectly. So perfectly, that the show had to stop momentarily as somebody in the front row fell to the floor. The acoustics in the gym sounded surprisingly good to me, although I was in the front row being blown away by the massive Sunn O))) amp.

Mount Eerie 6 November 2009 (17 of 17)
Mount Eerie with basketball percussionists

During the last song of the concert Elverum handed out basketballs to the crowd and told them to bounce the balls along to the beat at a later part of the song. Predictably, people aren’t very good at playing basketball percussion and they came in at the wrong time and lost control of their dribbling. It didn’t really matter though, since they were all having a good time. After the song they thanked the audience and packed up their equipment, not sticking around for an encore. I didn’t feel cheated out of an encore since they put on a show packed with as much sound as a community center’s gym could handle. The concert was a great extension of the lingering Halloween atmosphere, and hopefully Mount Eerie makes their way back to Bloomington on their next tour.

– Words, photos, and videos by David Ray

PS – Bonus video!
Mount Eerie performing “Ancient Questions”

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~ by masterodisaster on November 8, 2009.

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