April 2, 2011

Rock Over Boston: Mountain Goats and Megafaun | 4.1.2011

[Mountain Goats and Megafaun at the Paradise, Boston, MA 4/1/2011. Photos by Michael Piantigini.]

It's hard to imagine anyone taking the idea of "warm up act" more to heart than Megafaun. They back up their off-kilter (although, it should be noted, not as off-kilter as it once was) 3-part harmony-laden hillbilly pop with good old-fashioned showmanship. Engaging and infectious, they won over everyone not already in their corner.

Now, I suppose I'm cashing in some indie cred with the admission that I'd never seen the Mountain Goats live before last night. I've been a fan since the mid-90's when John Darnielle was releasing cassettes and 7-inchers of recordings he made alone in a room with his boom box. He's since graduated to playing with a great band and making pristine recordings that ever-so-slightly straighten his bent point of view, but I still think of that earlier intimacy when I think Mountain Goats. None of that, then, prepared me for last night's raucous fist-pumping sing-along.

It was a little rowdy and a little sloppy and there was a recurring feedback hum for some reason, but when Darnielle, alone on-stage, played "Raja Vocative" (from the 1995 Orange Raja, Blood Royal 7"), I was instantly transported back to listening to my home-taped cassette of it while wending down autumn-lined Storrow Drive alone in my Datsun 210, wondering where I was going.

-Michael Piantigini

The Mountain Goats: Intertubes | Twitter
Megafaun: Intertubes | MySpace | Tumblr | Twitter

1 comment:

Ken Carlson said...

Great review Mike. What was the first song of the first encore that was obviously a cover (JD was reading from a lyric sheet)? Also curious about JD's song to a friend was was cool in high school who he hoped was happy....