Bullz-Eye Home
Movie DVDs
Music DVDs
Celebrity Babes
The Opposite Sex
Stuff to Buy
Premium Members

Join  Enter

Cool Links

All Pro Models
Premium Hollywood
EatSleepDrink Music
Sports Blog
Cleveland Sports
Political Humor

The Eels Concert Review
The Eels
Galaxy Theater
Santa Ana, CA

by: John Paulsen

Paulsen Home / CD Reviews Home / Entertainment Channel / Entertainment Web Guide

Eels’ frontman, Mark Oliver Everett, also known simply as “E,” had this to say about the band’s upcoming tour in support of their new album, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations:

"The past few Eels tours had taken a physical and emotional toll on me. I decided it was time to stop. But then one night I was in the backyard smoking a cigar with Bobby, Jr. and I was thinking about how we've been pummeling the audiences with variations on a distorted, rocking theme for the past few tours and wouldn't it be nice to do something really different? I found myself getting creatively excited about the idea. I couldn't stop myself from calling the office and having my team of experts assist me in making this idea a reality. So here we come again. If you're looking for rock -- turn back. You've come to the wrong place. This is a whole other thing."

Truer words were never spoken. Casual fans expecting a rock show should probably stay away from this tour. This is not to say that the concert wasn’t a good one, it just wasn’t a typical Eels show. Referred to as the Eels With Strings Tour, it’s a slow, intimate exhibition, focusing mostly on the new album, with some gems from previous works thrown in for good measure. Flanked by a four-piece string section, Everett led the band through a hefty twenty-eight song set list, not counting several instrumentals peppered in throughout the show.

Having a reputation for being “difficult,” Everett seemed to be in an amiable mood, joking with the audience and the band members several times in between songs. He did come off a bit pretentious by smoking a cigar – basically thumbing his nose at the anti-smoking laws in California – and leaning on a wooden cane during the songs where he didn’t have an instrument to play. These props were probably intended to create a certain atmosphere in the venue, but based on the varied reaction to the show, it’s not clear if they had their intended effect.

Not counting the instrumentals, the first five songs were slow and pretty selections from the new album – the highlight being “A Magic World.” It wasn’t until the sixth tune, “Dirty Girl,” from the band’s fifth album, Shootenanny!, that there was any noticeable movement from the crowd. This song started a series of eight non-Blinking Lights selections, including a nice cover of the Left Banke’s “Pretty Ballerina” and “The Only Thing I Care About” from E’s second solo album, Broken Toy Shop. Everett dedicated the last song of this set, “Daises of the Galaxy,” to the venue itself, his “favorite OC theater.”

Next up were two tracks from Blinking Lights, the stark “Railroad Man” and the excellent “Trouble with Dreams.” The show lost a little steam after these numbers, but the surprise rocker “Dog-Faced Boy” woke the crowd up. After two more good Blinking Lights tracks, “Losing Streak” and “The Stars Shine In The Sky Tonight,” Everett ended the main set on the piano with “Souljacker Part II.”

After a short break, the band returned and E thanked the crowd for playing that “little cat and mouse game” with them. They immediately went into arguably the best song from Blinking Lights, “Hey Man (Now You’re Really Living),” which seemed to give the crowd a new life. This energy continued with “Flyswatter” before the band took another break, which did nothing to dispel the pretentious first impression delivered initially by the cigar and the wooden cane. Regardless, the two songs performed during the second encore, the lovely “Grace Kelly Blues” and the profound “Things the Grandchildren Should Know,” were worth the wait.

The lights came on and most of the patrons headed for the door – including me. Reportedly, someone came out a few minutes later and announced that the “Eels have left the building. Just kidding. Here they are.” The band came out and covered Prince’s “I Could Never Take Place of Your Man” for those fans still in the venue.

This was the second of three Southern California warm-up shows before the group heads off on an ambitious European tour before returning to the states in mid-June. Overall, the band (and the string section) demonstrated their musical prowess throughout the concert. Everett sung with emotion and vulnerability, and seemed clearly aware of the risk he is taking with the mostly-acoustic tour. While I take issue with the set list – I thought, given the strings, that the excellent “Fresh Feeling” would be a no-brainer – I’d still recommend the show to all but the casual fans of the band expecting an up-tempo rock extravaganza. Like Everett said, “this is a whole other thing.”

Set list:

Dust of Ages
In The Yard, Behind the Church
A Magic World
Son Of A Bitch
Blinking Lights (For Me)
Dirty Girl
My Beloved Monster
The Only Thing I Care About
Bus Stop Boxer
Pretty Ballerina [The Left Banke cover]
I Like Birds
I Need Some Sleep
Daises of the Galaxy
Railroad Man
Trouble with Dreams
Poor Side of Town [Johnny Rivers cover]
Wooden Nickels
I’m Going to Stop Pretending That I Didn’t Break Your Heart
Dead of Winter
Dog-Faced Boy
Losing Streak
The Stars Shine In The Sky Tonight
Souljacker Pt. II

Hey Man (Now You’re Really Living)

Grace Kelly Blues
Things The Grandchildren Should Know

I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man [Prince cover]

Send any questions, comments or wine stories to jpaulsen@bullz-eye.com




Bullz-Eye.com : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

© 2000-2005 Bullz-Eye.com®, All Rights Reserved. Contact the webmaster with questions or comments. Privacy Policy and Site Map