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Eels at First Avenue

5 Oct

When I was in high school my friend Amy gave me a copy of a cassette of the album “A Man Called (E).”  I wasn’t sure who this guy was, or why I found his music interesting. It seemed simple & easy, but I kept walking around singing it.

I never really heard any more of the Eels on the radio until a few years later when Novocaine for the Soul starting getting airplay on our local “alternative” radio station.  I didn’t realize at first that E = Eels, but that voice sounded so familiar. …and so it was.  I would go back to that first album over the years, still enjoying its simplicity.  E has definitely mixed it up as time progresses – generally now I really enjoy the upbeat guitar-heavy albums & don’t really get into the slow depressing stuff.

Regardless, I was really excited when I heard the Eels were coming to First Avenue. I didn’t know what to expect knowing a bit about Mark Oliver Everett’s life & the stories about shows being hit or miss from friends. When I got there photographers were only allowed to shoot from 3′ in on each side of the photo pit – no photos in front of the artist. Well, ok. First difficulty of the show, right?  Luckily this proved to be the only difficulty as E swaggered, screamed, danced, & rocked around the stage. He was upbeat & yelled out to the crowd numerous times, receiving much adoration on our end.

The set list was a good mix of old & new material – although with the amount of material E’s been putting out in the last few years, most things fell into the “newish” category. E kept the crowd satisfied by including classics like “Monster & Me” “I Like Birds” & even “Souljacker Pt. 1.”  All in all it was a solid & enjoyable performance by an extremely talented man.

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