Though I've wanted to for a long time, I've never seen The Mountain Goats until today. I've missed out.
TMG's John Darnielle has been heralded as one of the best songwriters in recent times, if not ever. His literary, imagery-filled lyrics are moving, yet simple and relatable.
Darnielle and his band (which included Superchunk's Jon Wurster on drums) played an off-the-cuff set by deciding onstage what they were going to play as they played it.
My favorite moments came during Darnielle's three-song solo stand that starte with "You Were Cool."
The tune made me shiver with a chill. It was good.
A huge crowd was there to watch and they sang along with most of the songs, which is impressive at a sort of singer-songwriter set.
Darnielle noticed, too.
"The first time I played in Chicago, it was to about 30 people at the Empty Bottle," he said. "Thank you so much for being here."
They closed out the set with maybe their most popular song, "This Year," which has the awesome lyric "I'm gonna make it through this year if it kills me."