It seems like there were some people who were really excited by the Kaki King set, but to my ears, she overstayed her welcome. Had she played half an hour or 45 minutes, I might have been interested to seek out her recordings. But she kept playing--the set must have approached 80 minutes. The instrumental stuff really started to blend together and the vocal stuff wasn't especially special. (This pitchfork review to one of her albums mirrors my feelings about her show.)
Mountain Goats played most of their set as the 3 piece with drums, like last time.
The idea of the Mountain Goats has always involved a bit of ontological slapstick: Darnielle walks onstage with his guitar and introduces himself by saying, “Hi, we’re the Mountain Goats.” For Darnielle, America’s best non-hip-hop lyricist, being in a band is a feint.
This part is pretty much lost, as is the idea that attending a live performance of the Mountain Goats will convert the uninitiated/doubtful.
Darnielle hasn't fully committed to the Mountain Goats as proper band-- he hasn't constructed a really coherent setlist since adding the drums. This show came in three different parts- Darnielle solo, the band, the band + Kaki King - and wasn't entirely satisfying because of the stilted nature of the set.
Still, it was a good time, especially with a strong ending. I also was surprised to find the new double 7" ep for sale on the merch table. I guess either people don't buy vinyl of stuff they can download for free, or there was careful rationing to get a supposedly limited (665 copies?) record to the second to last show of the tour.