Sunday, January 18, 2009

Concert Review: Department of Eagles - 1/17/09 at Johnny Brenda's (Philadelphia) **setlist included**

Too bad more people don't know Department of Eagles. Maybe if they did, their tour would've come through the nation's capital. I had to go up to Philadelphia to see the band that earned the highly coveted prize of my #1 album of 2008. That would be In Ear Park (read my review). I love that album. I think it's a masterpiece. I also think their first album, The Cold Nose, was very good too. Apparently even the band members themselves think that one was bad, though.

Fred and Dan, the two official members of the band, were working the merch table at the venue, a nice little spot called Johnny Brenda's that I liked quite a bit. I had an embarassing little chat with each of them where I mumbled something about loving them and wanting to have their babies, or something like that. Anyway, I never know what to say in those situations.

So this show was only the 3rd time they'd played as this band, but for most of the show, I wouldn't have been able to tell that. They were pretty tight. Fred and Dan were joined by the bassist and drummer from Dan's regular band, Grizzly Bear. They're solid pros. Apparently, quite a bit of arrangement was necessary to make those songs from In Ear Park performable live. They didn't manage to arrange my favorite song, "Herringbone," though.

They played most of the rest of the album, along with one track from Cold Nose, "Sailing by Night," as well as two or three new numbers and a cover of JoJo's "Too Little Too Late" as a pretty entertaining encore. Yeah, that JoJo. Both of the new tracks featured some awesome looping of vocals by Dan. He can really sing. He has a raspy, sweet voice that keeps pitch really well. Very faithful to the album. Guitar work was good too. Dan even broke out the banjo for one song, "Balmy." I'd have liked some more of the electronic effects worked in there. Still, it was a darn good show. Totally worth the trip.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for the review. i saw them in los angeles about a week later. wonder why they didn't play Teenagers there.