[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.