18 September 2003

A girl with a dirty mouth

The Eels. Went to the gig on Saturday. Lucky me, got offered ticket in the sunny Sydney afternoon because someone else couldn't make the chaged timeslot. Of course I had to do some fast rescheduling to make a free window in my hectic social life. (Apologies to John Cusak for having to shelve another viewing of Grosse Point Blank last weekend... sorry honey..)

Well, thank god for rock and roll is all I can say. Being a total Eels kook, I knew not that they are best known for a mix of perfect pop and sadness-laced ballads. Waiting in the front-of-stage area (thanks Big Al) I am told that the lead singer has lived though the suicides of both parents and a sister. A few days after the gig I am told that former band members have offed themselves, I have no idea of what the actual story is. But at the time I'm thinking - oh no another damaged soul, on stage to bring me along for the ride. Great. Time for an aside here.. look if you're a lonely soul out there surfin' the web, and you're feeling like there's no point being alive, whatever you do, keep the tylenol and the razor blades in the cupboard, okay? Coz believe me, no matter what you think, it will upset someone. I promise. Probably me, when I end up inadvertantly paying good money to see your sibling/lover/parent blaze out their angst on a six-string in 2010.

Anyway, back to the Eels. Mr E could be the long lost twin of Melbourne's Dan Brodie, and he swaggered on stage looking like an extra from one of those American army films with the band doing their best David Hicks impressions in orange denim. From the back of the auditorium, mind you. I haven't seen that since Rocky Horror at Star City in 1998. Band cranking out the rifs and pitched into darkness. It was all on. Flooded with relief after the bad indie rock experience aka Chan Marshall, and surrounded by young things shakin' their booty for the next 2 hours, I felt like all was righted with the world, and the ills could just wait outside on the street for a while...

A cover of a Johnny Cash song, a solo rendition of Beautiful Freak (ah Henry, where are you now?), a punked up "Birds" and four (count em) encores later, and the lights are up, they're still going and there's some strangeness on stage but who cares. Bernard Z from the SMH thought it was all a bit of a lame tired joke, but Bernie, this is where our opinion will have to differ. For the un-initiated, I'm happy to see a depresssed showman crank through a set of fired up tunes, promsing to make sweet love to his new lady, Sydney, on any Saturday night, baby.

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