Last night I saw the Eels perform for their third visit to Australia.
Each time, thus far, has been a unique and wonderous experience. Mr E, leading the band through its revolving lineup, never disappoints and always knows how to make an entrance. Last night he was dressed in 20's European attire, entering with a walking stick in his right hand and puffing on a fat ol' cigar.
Mr E, as always, was hilarious, balancing out the heartbreaking lyrics. The other members of the Eels, this time, consisted of The Chet on every instrument imaginable (including a long stint on the saw), Big Al on double bass and four women on strings ranging from cello to violin.
A ten minute noise segue into Novocaine for the Soul had most of Hamer Hall wondering what happened to that pretty music show they were watching. Me? I love that shit. It's self-indulgent and noisy and fun. The highlight came when the cellist (Anna) put down her instrument and picked up another one. It was pink and made a clicking/whirring noise when she pressed it against the microphone.
Is that what I think it is?
Yes, I have seen vibrators used on stage but never like that!
While I dismiss the notion of performance art as bullshit I love it when performance becomes art. In the end the songs became secondary to the band's presence. Ask me tomorrow which songs were covered and I couldn't tell you but ask me what happened on stage and I will detail the performance blow by blow.
Everybody should experience an Eels show at least once in their life. I'm lucky enough to have witnessed three and I'd gladly go back for a fourth.