The Mountain Goats at The Columbus Theatre



Usually Sunday is a down period during the weekend. You wouldn’t normally spend the evening enjoying a sold-out show, but this past Sunday at the Columbus Theatre was an exception. Precursors to this decade’s indie folk renaissance, The Mountain Goats took hold of the main theater as part of their tour with solo artist William Tyler. It was a truly memorable night that was one of the best shows to come through the Creative Capital so far in 2016.

Columbus Cooperative member, member of The Low Anthem and resident harmonica collaborator Bryan Minto got the crowd revved up and then Tyler came up on stage. At first he seemed a tad nervous performing in front of a crowd consisting of over 1,000 people. Then he showed that he’s not your typical guy who plays an acoustic guitar; each song he played was completely instrumental and accented with loops, sonic progressions and jazzy improvisations. One funny highlight of Tyler’s performance was him jokingly debating with some guy in the audience about whether drop c or a flat tuning is better on a guitar. It got a laugh from everyone and it set the mood for a relaxing and laid-back experience. Tyler had people in a trance while playing his guitar on stage, hopefully he’ll come back around these parts soon.

After a brief intermission and Minto once again going up on stage to keep the crowd company, The Mountain Goats were greeted with rousing applause. Kicking off the set with “Woke Up New” off of 2006’s Get Lonely, the band started off a tad slow and low key. After performing “Stabbed To Death Outside San Juan,” the scene shifted to frontman John Darnielle taking things over solo with his six string. Following up “1 Samuel 15:23” by talking about the bible story of Jonah & The Whale and relating the story to the buttons on his jacket getting caught on the strings of his guitar, Darnielle proceeded to play “Rotten Stinking Mouthpiece” to the audience’s delight. Darnielle then went to the piano to play “Black Pear Tree” and bassist Peter Hughes, multi-instrumentalist Matt Douglas  and drummer John Wurster rejoined him for “The Diaz Brothers,” the latter igniting the crowd.

The Mountain Goats finished off their initial performance with “Liza Forever Minnelli” and everyone in the theater stood in applause. Proving that they weren’t done yet, Darnielle and crew came back for an encore and upped the energy with “Up The Wolves,” “This Year” and “No Children.” The crowd still wanted more and the band came out one more time to finish off the incredible night with “Spent Gladiator 2.” Rarely do you get to see a double encore at a show, but everyone who was at the Columbus Theatre on Sunday got to experience it first-hand. It was an amazing experience that no one who was in attendance that night will ever forget.

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