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Eels sighting

Last Saturday, Hillbilly Holmes and I saw our third Eels show at Detroit's Majestic Theatre. The first, back in 05, the "With Strings Tour" has to be in my top 10 of best concerts ever. Then the "No Strings Attached Tour" in 06(?) was good, noisy, entertaining, but nowhere near the level of brilliance as the first show we saw. This latest incarnation was stripped down even more. Just E and The Chet, no bass player again, playing piano, pump organ, drums, guitar, pedal steel, mandolin, and percussion. Usually concerts so stripped down are about as entertaining as plywood. Eels can pull it off. What's really fascinating is the different versions of songs played. For instance, "Flyswatter" a noisy, creepy rocker from the "Daisies" album was rocked with only piano and drums. With a gimmicky, but nonetheless entertaining switch by E and The Chet on their two instruments the originally short song was lengthened by about 4-5 minutes.
Always funny, E joked about Houdini, his family (Oh, pre-show entertainment was a BBC documentary about E and his famous physicist father, now deceased), and Detroit music cliches. Additionally, The Chet gave some pretentiously funny readings from E's new book.
If you've never been to an Eels show, you should check it out. If you've been before, go again, because unlike 90% of even the good bands, every Eels tour is different in kind from the last.

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