the Clientele @ Neumos (11/9/17)

[NOTE: Here’s the sixth post in my Forgotten Concerts of 2017 series.  This one was published on February 3rd, 2018, but I have altered the date so that it fits in chronologically.  Let’s pick this one up mid-sentence, after the bit about road rage.]

…we stumbled on a great parking place over by the Braeburn.  We left the umbrella and my rain jacket in the car and then promptly got rained on a couple blocks down the hill.  Still, we made it to Annapurna only partially drenched.  The restaurant was packed.  Beth and I shared an order of momos and then split the vegetable kofta and a cauliflower dish for our dinner.  It was all delicious.

The weather cleared while we were in Annapurna, so we didn’t have to walk to Neumos in the rain.  We got to the venue a good 20 minutes after the doors had opened.  The entire upstairs section with seating was closed off, so it didn’t matter that we got there later than we’d planned.  No seats anyway.  We stood in the middle for a couple songs by the opening act, a charming pop band from New York called EZTV, but then headed for the side where we could lean against the wall for back support.  I liked EZTV and will probably buy their stuff when I see it (but didn’t at the show because I didn’t feel like carrying it around), so I wrote down their setlist with an eye toward it possibly meaning something someday.  Here it is:

EZTV setlist: Bury Your Heart / Racing Country / Pretty Torn Up / Listen to Her Heart (Tom Petty) / Long Way to Go / There Goes My Girl / Daytime (new song) / Hammock / “falling through…nowhere else to go” / Calling Out / The Light

The Clientele were next and they were absolutely amazing.  Oh my goodness.  The sound was crisp and better than I’ve ever heard it before in Neumos, and the band was playing with a combination of intensity and beauty that I’ve rarely witnessed.  They played an interesting mix of early material from Suburban Light and The Violet Hour along with songs from their new record, Music For the Age of Miracles.  They mostly skipped over the middle years.  That’s fine with me as that era was pretty well covered the first time we saw the band.

[NOTE: If I haven’t mentioned it somewhere before, I’d like to mention it here right now: Music For the Age of Miracles is my favorite album of 2017.  I can’t even think of anything I enjoyed half as much.]

It dawned on me in the middle of the show that I was incredibly lucky to be seeing the Clientele again.  The band was, after all, on hiatus for 7 or 8 years.  Oh, and one more thing…I got to see the Clientele in autumn, on a cold and rainy day.  That’s a band at its ideal place and time.  That’s like seeing Jimmy Buffett on the beach in summer (although I’d never want to see Jimmy Buffett anytime or anyplace or even hear his music accidentally in a store–and the comparison doesn’t really hold up as the beach is a Buffett-appropriate place, but there’s nothing specific about Neumos that makes it a good place for the Clientele to play…unlike, say, a library or a shop that sells sweaters).  But anyway, here’s the Clientele’s setlist:

the Clientele setlist: Since K Got Over Me / Monday’s Rain / The Violet Hour / The Neighbor / E.M.P.T.Y. / We Could Walk Together / Porcelain / Missing / Everyone You Meet / Lunar Days / (I Want You) More Than Ever / The Museum of Fog (spoken by Elethea?) / Lamplight / The Age of Miracles

the Clientele encore: Reflections After Jane / As Night Is Falling

The show ended a little before midnight.  We headed out into the night and walked back to the car in what was probably the quietest I’ve ever witnessed Capitol Hill.  No loud drunks.  No roving bands of crime pirates.  No shattering bottles.  Just the two of us content in the fact that we’d gotten to share one of our favorite bands again.

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7 Responses to the Clientele @ Neumos (11/9/17)

  1. Pingback: Bootleg Yeti and the State of Things |

  2. homebody says:

    I really like how you’ve been starting these mid-sentence. (What was that about road rage? I forgot.) That was a really good show and good evening. Thanks for coming out for it.

    • M-----l says:

      You got very angry at some drivers over by the doggie daycare and then began questioning your ability to choose the ideal route to Capitol Hill. It was a little scary for a bit. Fortunately, we were able to leave that behind us once you found that great parking place. The rest of the evening was just about perfect (except when we got wet on the walk to Annapurna, of course).

  3. McPop says:

    I’m very jealous. Sounds like a fantastic live show with two excellent bands. I have EZTV’s only 2 albums which I would highly recommend for fans of jangle-pop and I’m gradually purchasing The Clientele’s back catalog after really getting into ‘Music for the Age of Miracles’. So far I have also picked up ‘Strange Geometry’ and ‘God Save the Clienteles’. Curious, what are your favorites?

    • M-----l says:

      My favorite Clientele release is still the first one I ever heard, Suburban Light. It’s a collection of early singles and came out around 2000. Merge reissued the collection a few years ago. It’s got a bonus disc and better sound now, but they changed the track listing around a bit (which took me a long time to get used to).

      Bonfires on the Heath and The Lost Weekend are also excellent. To be honest, I basically love everything the Clientele has done…even the weird spoken word-ish stuff that occasionally pops up. I buy the singles, EPs, side-projects, etc.

      I also bought both of the EZTV CDs since I wrote this. I listened to the debut three times yesterday, as a matter of fact. I remember you mentioning them here a couple times, so I was happy when I first read they were the opener.

    • M-----l says:

      Here’s that ‘Best of 2017’ list I promised you at the beginning of the year:

      the Clientele – Music For the Age of Miracles

      Joan Shelley – Joan Shelley
      Wesley Stace – Wesley Stace’s John Wesley Harding
      Coleen – A Flame My Love, A Frequency
      Michael Head & the Red Elastic Band – Adiós Señor Pussycat
      Fazerdaze – Morningside
      Nadia Reid – Preservation
      Nick Heyward – Woodland Echoes
      Mutual Benefit – Just Another Diamond Day
      Lowly – Heba
      St. Etienne – Home Counties
      Filthy Friends – Invitation
      Daniel Martin Moore – Turned Over to Dreams
      Dream Syndicate – How Did I Find Myself Here?
      Robyn Hitchcock – Robyn Hitchcock
      Ben Gibbard – Bandwagonesque
      Who Is She? – Seattle Gossip

      Shelley Short – Pacific City*
      Joe Henry – Thrum*

      (* = recent purchases I haven’t listened to enough yet to know where they fit in the order.)

  4. McPop says:

    Looks like some familiar albums on your Best of 2017 list. I’ll definitely be checking out the ones that I haven’t heard yet. Thanks for the tips on The Clientele albums. ‘Suburban’ and ‘Bonfires’ were actually the next two on my list. Glad you’re digging the EZTV CDs. Hope they release something new this year.

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