While Robin Pecknold himself may have stuck to water last night at Neumos, it was clear by the end of the night he was one of a bare few. He contributed in his own way though, offering a wry humor and a one of kind night of music made up of some of his favorite traditionals, notable covers and songs from his own band Fleet Foxes. He was even joined on a few of the songs by some of his bandmates.
Robin Pecknold – “Two Headed Boy (Neutral Milk Hotel Cover)” recorded 7/11/2009 at Neumos in Seattle
Grand Hallway opened the night and with a short half-an-hour of fully realized orchestral indie rock, that this time around felt not only practiced but natural, as if in the intervening months since I’ve last seen them, lead singer Tomo Nakayama now truly has as much control of his voice as his ability on guitar or keys displays.
Capitol Hill residents Throw Me the Statue are a band that has grown from a motley crew rambling around doing synthy jangle pop and riding a wave of critical acclaim into a tight cohesive force that is now truly deserving of that acclaim. With plenty of backup these days, lead mind Scott Reitherman seems to be sticking to the guitar for the duration performance, and if anything it gives the band a more consistent sound. If the unevenness of however Reitherman and whomever he had with him decided to play a song on a given day was part of the charm before, Throw Me the Statue is now a full-on band, and the new songs portray that identity clearly. Much of set list were songs from a new album, titled Creaturesque, and out in August on Secretly Canadian.
After the obligatory pass the hat speech, as this was a benefit Seattle’s all-ages haven the Vera Project, Robin Pecknold got down to business. Informing us he was just going to play a jukebox of songs he liked, and maybe a few requests, he began with songs he’s done as his myspace alter ego White Antelope. Then with no warning he dropped a Neutral Milk Hotel cover on us. “Two Headed Boy” no less. He forgot a few words near the end, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one picking my jaw up from the floor still absorbing a moment that we wanted to never end.
Inviting fellow Fleet Foxes Josh Tillman and Skyler Skeljet to offer a little backup throughout (with Tillman also on comic relief), Pecknold took to the piano for a few songs, and at one point even threatened a Robert Goulet Version of a Fleet Foxes song. Unexpected laughter and humor seemed to be a reoccuring theme throughout the night, thanks to an enthusiastic and progressively intoxicated audience. “Blue Spotted Tail” was the only new song among the bunch, however a few covers did make appearances, foremost the Magnetic Fields’ “The Book Of Love” and an encore of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” with Pecknold sister Aja joining on backup vocals.
For those who missed it, the complete setlist and a full show download link are below the fold. It is highly recommended.
Robin Pecknold at the ‘A Drink for the Kids’ benefit show – Neumos, Seattle – July 11, 2009
Katie Cruel (trad)
False Knight on the Road (trad)
Silver Dagger (trad)
He Doesn’t Know Why
Two Headed Boy (Neutral Milk Hotel)
Albatross (Fleetwood Mac)
Oh Sister (Bob Dylan)
Early In the Morning (B.B. King)
The Book of Love (the Magnetic Fields)
Tiger Mountain Peasant Song
Blue Spotted Tail
Dreams (Fleetwood Mac)
Update: A huge thanks for this recording belongs to one Jackson Barnes. My original source did not credit anyone with this recording, so originally we left it without any credit. Now that we know, we want to give credit where credit is due, because the recording is amazing. Cheers to Jackson Barnes!