Beth and I saw six shows in seven nights. We started off with Belle & Sebastian and then moved on to Cat Power and the Vaselines and She & Him and Ida. Then we took a day off for travel before finishing up our tour with Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan at Neumos.
Blah, blah, blah. I don’t really care anymore, do you? Did you ever? I enjoyed this show, but Beth got sleepy and bored fairly early on and we actually left before the show was over. I don’t think I’ve done that since 1997. And you know what, I didn’t even mind.
It was hot and loud and super-crowded and the sound wasn’t even very good. Isobel Campbell’s mic was turned way down and her vocal parts were hard to hear over the band and Mark Lanegan. The venue sort of treated the show like it was a Lanegan solo performance…even when he wandered off the stage after nine songs and turned his vocal duties over to the opening act, Willy Mason. Willy and Isobel performed three songs and sounded good together. Then Willy left the stage and Isobel took her turn in the spotlight. She started off with “To Hell & Back Again” and it was probably the all-time worst sound mix I’ve ever heard in a live setting. It sounded like she was singing with a thick blanket wrapped around her head…under water…into a broken microphone. I guess it would have to be a special waterproof microphone for that comparison to hold true, but you get the idea. Bad sound. “Saturday’s Gone” sounded much better, but it was still off. We left. If Mark Lanegan himself didn’t think the show was worth sticking around for, why should we?
Here’s the setlist up until we left:
Isobel & Mark: We Die and See Beauty Reign/You Won’t Let Me Down Again/Come Undone/Snake Song (Townes Van Zandt)/Who Built the Road/Free to Walk (Jeffrey Lee Pierce)/Honey Child, What Can I Do?/Ballad of the Broken Seas/The Circus is Leaving Town
Isobel & Willy: No Place to Fall (Townes Van Zandt)/Cool Water/I Wish That I Knew How to Say Goodbye (Willy Mason)
Isobel: To Hell & Back Again/Saturday’s Gone
I’m pretty sure Mark Lanegan eventually came back out to reap the fawning adoration of his local fanbase, but we weren’t there to see it. Blah, blah, blah.