Concert Review: John Darnielle (The Rialto Theater)

BY CHRIS HOCKER On November 25th, John Darnielle kicked the rest of the Mountain Goats aside to perform an intimate solo set at The Rialt...


BY CHRIS HOCKER

On November 25th, John Darnielle kicked the rest of the Mountain Goats aside to perform an intimate solo set at The Rialto Theater. The second of two sold-out shows at the historic Raleigh theater found the singer-songwriter-guitarist-pianist at the top of his game, memsmerizing the audience with tales and music.



According to Darnielle, the rare solo shows give him an opportunity to perform stripped-down versions of more obscure tunes. Danielle switched from acoustic guitar to electric piano and back, but his voice was the main instrument of the evening. On certain songs, Danielle purposedly performed them so quiet that the crowd didn't dare breathe in fear of being heard over the music.



Along the way, John Darnielle regaled the crowd with tales behind the songs. He told why certain songs don't get recorded, why some are seldom played, and, in the case of "Heel Turn 2," he told the crowd about The Sheik and the professional wrestling circuits of the '70s. Darnielle didn't play all obscure tunes, though. In addition to "Heel Turn 2," Darnielle also performed fan favorites like "Up The Wolves," "This Year," and final song "The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton," during which the entire crowd sung "Hail Satan! Hail Satan tonight!"

The Mountain Goats Setlist Rialto Theatre, Raleigh, NC, USA 2023
CHRIS HOCKER, Editor
Strange Carolinas started as a hobby for Chris Hocker who often dragged his family to offbeat detours on family vacations. Hocker decided to start photographing and writing about these roadside attractions and in June 2014, launched Strange Carolinas with a story on Myrtle Beach's KISS Coffeehouse. In addition to chronicling over 400 attractions across the Carolinas, Strange Carolinas has also become an impressive music blog.

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