Howdy all! BT came through St. Louis last night and played a hot, hot show (both in terms of music and temperature). Here's what I have written down for the setlist, but it comes without any warranties:
Black River Killer, Laughing Lover, Fire & Fast Bullets, God & Suicide, Love & Hate, Destroyer of the Void, Evening Star, Heaven & Earth, Lady on the Water, Silver Moon, Man Who Would Speak True, Furr, Below the Hurricane, Dragon Song, Sleepytime in the Western World, Sadie, Wild Mountain Nation
Not Your Lover, Big Black Bird
The show was at a tiny venue in downtown St. Louis called the Off-Broadway. I heard one of the employees mention as I was coming in that they were 12 people short of capacity--about 300 I'd guess. As I mentioned above, it was HOT. Temps in St. Louis hit the high-90s yesterday and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the venue A/C wasn't working at all.
BT had no problem matching the heat though. I won't go song-by-song here, but I'd like to mention a few highlights. As a caveat, this is only my second time seeing BT (and the first time was when they were opening for Malkmus, and it was the first time I'd either heard them or heard OF them). Accordingly, what I thought was spectacular based on the albums I bought and a few live shows I've downloaded could actually be totally pedestrian and done every show. Take these opinions for what little they're worth.
Destroyer is a monster live--it gave the band a great chance to show off that big new "progish" sound on the new album. And it freakin' rocks.
Hurricane is just a gem. They did some cool stuff accenting some of the "rain" lyrics with woodblock work (sort of like how the piano does on the album, but probably a bit more effective in a loud room). This may have been the high point of the evening for me. I liked the song on the album, but I didn't expect to like it as much as I did live.
Silver Moon deserves some props as well, as does Sadie. Both of those are very fun tunes, though I would caution the band to be sure the piano keyboard stays loud during Sadie or the song could easily sound flat.
Man Who Would Speak True is an excellent new "story song." To the extent they're comparable, I would even say I like it more than BRK. There, I said it.
Furr received a rousing reception; I guess it's sort of a big single, but I thought that honor fell to BRK. It definitely got the crowd going though and I loved it.
The WMN closer was just a straight out rocker. BT could have been forgiven for phoning it in given the heat, but they let loose on it and it was one of the high points of the evening for me.
The encore was fun. Eric actually had to stop Not Your Lover at one point because the heat (or, more accurately I think, sweat) was interfering with his ability to play harmonica without using his hands. Probably not the best musical moment, I guess, but it was certainly entertaining. And Big Black Bird was a great way to close a great show.
I also feel like I should mention the excellent job their sound guy did. That did not look like an easy room to deal with (high ceiling, small balcony, crowded, all brick), but he kept the instruments audible and well-separated.
All in all, I thought it was a pretty spectacular show. I wish I could make the trek to KC this evening, but it's just not in the cards. Best wishes to the band on this tour! Those of you seeing upcoming shows should get excited!