Milky spotlights of varying colors slowly snaked across the stage, illuminating the artist known as Mount Eerie. A mood was set as songs both somber and authoritative issued forth. The project of reclusive Washington folkster, Phil Elverum, Mount Eerie has released two stellar albums this year, Clear Moon and Ocean Roar. Normally more of a lone wolf, he’s embarked on a tour with a full band this time to support the twin records.
In a musical world where much of my listening is saturated with topics of romance and heartbreak, this performance by Mount Eerie was a good change of pace. The force of nature is abundant here lyrically and through its instrumentation. These albums really translate well live and in general gave off strong vibes of spirituality and relaxation. Paul’s sincere and humble dialogue with the audience only contributed to those feelings.
I wish I could say the same for this night’s support, Loren Connors. He’s an aged, ambient guitarist who could only be caught in glimpses; he was entirely concealed by the audience from his seated position on stage. I likened his performance to the musical equivalent of sitting through church, as he railed on for an impressive, but uncomfortable, forty five minutes, hardly pausing. I was really proud of the patience of my fellow New Yorkers, who managed to keep hushed and respectful for most of his set.
Mount Eerie is a perfect facilitator for doing some meditation. It’s difficult to think of a more apt band to conclude a weekend on with such a calming performance. Close the doors, shut the lights, and put one of his albums on. You’ll find yourself lost in your own thoughts quickly enough.