Hitchcock came out first and did almost all of the Eye album solo (a few songs accompanied by a harmony vocalist). Eye is almost all acoustic anyway, and doesn't vary a whole lot in style which I guess is one of the problems with these 'album' shows, though he warmed the crowd to it by talking about the period in which he wrote the songs with customary charm and humor. If it isn't quite as distinct as I Often Dream of Trains, Eye at times is beautiful and evocative and Hitchcock did it justice. Before he finished McCaughey, a drummer, and, holy fuck, Peter Buck, came out and they played a few Venus 3 tunes including Ole Tarantula. Fun way to end.
During the break I repositioned myself at the side of the stage right next to Buck's guitar stand and pedals. I was close enough to have given him a hand job for the rest of the night. The 'Minus 5' (Buck, McCaughey, and the slide/lead guitarist, bass player, piano player and drummer from the Decemberists, though that makes six) variously played their stuff and were John Wesley Harding's backing band.
Buck stayed in the background playing his 12-string, providing the jangle but not a lot of fireworks. He did bust out the mandolin for a few. He referred to handwritten cheat sheets on the floor with the charts of all the Harding songs.
|Harding, with Buck|
Eventually Hitchcock came back out, along with his boy vocalist, then Eugene Mirman (I'm vaguely aware of who he is, some kind of comic?) and then another guy got a pop who turned out to be Ted Leo, who still has yet to meet my listening acquaintance. A friend said Michael Stipe was at the show as well but not on the stage (I'd have noted that). By the end there was about 11 or 12 people up there (singing McCaughey's 'Aw Shit Man'), I'd been standing for five hours so I was happy it finally came to end but a fun night for us old people and good rock for my $.