Despite two postponements due to scheduling problems, Anacortes, Washington analog rock heroes Mt. Eerie and local concert promoter Kris Charlton of Twee Death finally came through with this long awaited concert experience. Inside the wondrous, yet hopelessly stuffy St. James Hall, a substantial crowd packed the hard wooden pews for a unique night of song and performance that was well worth the wait.
Vancouver’s gr8-2000 (a.k.a Tom Whalen) opened the night up proper with his balls-out blend of programmed beats and electrified, primal-scream lyrics. “My parents are here tonight,” Whalen announced proudly in between songs, before adding “And look at the mess you’ve made!” before launching back into rhythmic chaos. His raucous set (complete with dancing teenage groupies) ended with a raunchy, blues-powered guitar explosion, indicating a powerful direction of creative exploration for this local talent.
Things were lit up nice and ready to fire, but Nick Krgovich (of P:ano and No Kids) took the energy of the show in a different direction, providing the left-field highlight of the evening. With the lights dimmed low and only the sounds of the wobbly ceiling fans audible, Krgovich stepped to the piano for an 11-song set of gorgeous pop ballads written in the sanctuary of his living room. Subtly eking out tones of pathos and comedy from the polished keys, Krgovich sang of the death of Hollywood, the cold epistemology of love and the whimsy of relationships in a way that left everyone begging for more with wild, uninhibited applause.
After these feats of virtuosity, a performance by Mt. Eerie seemed like an afterthought. Nevertheless, front man Phil Elvrum took the stage with Krgovich in tow to perform Wind’s Poem, their yet to be released album. The soaring guitar and organ drone of the songs were lush and transcendent, but the heavily contemplative energy of the music seemed to lose the crowd slightly—except for the kids of course. A huddled mass of devoted teens sat in front of Elvrum during the performance, hanging off of his every note. Some demanded more volume; some sat staring in awe while others laid on the floor to soak up the reverb spilling all over. Elvrum dished out a rock-steady Beat Happening cover to finish off the night, sending everyone home thoroughly rocked out in classic Twee Death fashion.