HEADLINE: Today I’m flying to Chicago to see a $12 concert in a balloon-frame house.
BACKSTORY: Have you been with me from the beginning? If so, you might remember my Top Ten Concerts to See series back on Vox. As the name would suggest, the posts featured an ever-changing list of musicians I wanted to see live. In order to qualify for the list, the artist had to be a living, potentially-touring entity I hadn’t already seen. Once I saw a band from the list, I’d mark them off and add someone else in their place.
I eventually stopped doing the Top Ten Concerts to See posts when I managed to catch up with most everyone and nobody new came along who I wanted to add. There were only three musicians still left on the list when I did my final post in the series back in 2009. And I’ve since caught up with one of those three.
One of the two remaining holdouts is Mark Mulcahy. He’s the former singer in Miracle Legion and the Adventures of Pete & Pete house-band, Polaris. He’s been releasing solo albums since 1999, but it had been eight years since the last one. I was beginning to think he’d quit for good. Well, Mark Mulcahy returned to his solo career late last year by putting out a 7″ record with a dirtbike on the front. And then he took it a step further by releasing a new full-length album last month. It’s called Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You and is one of the best things I’ve heard in 2013.
Then he announced a mini U.S. tour. Mini U.S. tour?! Oh yeah, I’m there.
DECISIVE ACTION: So today I’m flying to Chicago to see Mark Mulcahy perform at The Hideout, a tiny venue that doesn’t even have a sign in front of it. I sure hope I can find the place. Stay tuned for updates.
DAYS LATER: Okay, one total comment over the course of three days makes this my worst performing post in all my years on WordPress. That leads me to believe that nobody cares that I went to see Mark Mulcahy in Chicago and that it would probably be a waste of my time to type in all the details about the show. I feel I would be remiss in my duties as a concert historian, though, if I didn’t write down the setlist. It was a great one and included most everything I wanted to hear. Here it is…
Main set: The Rabbit/She Is Staggering (Polaris)/She Makes the World Turn Backwards/I Have Patience/Can’t Find a Reason to Let You Go/Cookie Jar/Where’s the Indifference Now?/He’s a Magnet/Saturnine (Polaris)/Love’s the Only Thing That Shuts Me Up/The Cottage That We Rented Had a Name/The Ladies From Town (Miracle Legion)/Let the Fireflies Fly Away/The Quiet One/Bill Jocko
Encore: Hey Self Defeater (solo)/Waiting For October (Polaris)
TWO PICTURES: Here’s that picture of the Hideout I promised. As you can see, it’s a tiny place with nothing more than an “Old Style Cold Beer” sign to advertise it. There’s a bar in the front room and music is played in the back. The back room has wood paneled walls, Christmas lights on the ceiling, and I watched most of the show from beneath a mounted fish. Yes, it’s that kind of place.
And I typically take one shot at every concert just so I’ll be able to remember where I was in relation to the stage. So here’s “Gaseous Mark Mulcahy w/Shaky Lights”: