Concert Reviews

Dallas Is Sorry, Neutral Milk Hotel

I don't know how many of you were at the Jeff Mangum show last January. For those of you who were not, though I assume the Venn diagram of the two crowds shares a considerable crossover, the crowd at the solo show could sense a frailty in Mangum that made them reverent and silent and respectful in a way I had absolutely never experienced before in Dallas. Every note hung clear in the air, no-one whooped, nothing was shouted apart from messages of love and support. The crowd even did the trumpet parts.

Jeff Mangum is clearly a lot more used to gigging now. A year on, with his band of 1990s lo-fi heroes reformed, he's even playing shows standing up, and while he might not be smiling quite yet, he at least seems to be enjoying himself. The normalcy of this show, as normal as a show by a band who haven't toured in over a decade can be, combined with the larger draw that is the full band operating under "Neutral Milk Hotel" rather than a Jeff Mangum solo show, brought in the usual Dallas crowd. By that, I mean a crowd with enough people determined to spoil it for everyone else.

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Gavin Cleaver
Contact: Gavin Cleaver