The Mountain Goats and Megafaun were mega fun

Sunday evening was a jam packed night at The Opera House out on the east end of town and it was full of fans from all over, not just Toronto. The Mountain Goats have a loyal fanbase and many of the people at the show have been following them around for their entire tour. This happened to be my first ever Mountain Goats show and it was definitely an experience I wasn’t expecting.


The night started off with North Carolina based group Megafaun. A three piece indie folk style band consisting of a banjo, guitar and drums. Also armed with fantastic harmonies. It is 2 brothers and their high school best friend and they have more fun on stage than anyone I’ve seen in a long time. Regardless of the fact that most of the audience hasn’t heard their music before they had everyone singing along with harmonies almost as good as theirs. Their third song Real Slow had everyone singing along  the words “Come on ease your mind oh, come on ease your mind, come on ease your worry mind” and everyone did so in perfect unison and clapping along. They even switched up throughout their set who sang lead vocals, the drummer coming off the drums for 2 different songs just to play the tambourine, or clap, and sing the lead. The guitarist had an extreme amount of energy and was running about the stage a lot, and the banjo player made me appreciate the banjo more than I ever thought I could.

Everyone got excited as The Mountain Goats came out. A larger line up than the last time they played Toronto several years ago, the previous 2 piece indie folk duo now consists of 4 members. The newest member Yuval who plays keyboards, wasn’t familiar with a lot of the songs but managed to pick up on the 4 chords that John uses so frequently and played along beautifully.

What I wasn’t expecting was a few songs in the entire band with the exception of John left the stage and he played a very acoustic set. I would’ve preferred to be at a more upbeat show but everyone who knew their songs well was singing along and soaking up every moment of it.  He slowly brought back the band members one by one to join him before they all left the stage.

 

After a short break and an encore that wasn’t even called out for from the audience, they returned and advised us all that in the spirit of bands like The Grateful Dead we were about to experience a 6 song encore. Jon Wurster (drummer) traded in his brushes for actual drumsticks and the set picked up which I enjoyed a lot more than the first set. It’s not always the best idea to save the best songs for last considering a fair amount of the crowd did leave before the encore, but everyone who was still there moved up as close to the stage as possible. Everyone was jumping and screaming along to the songs.

When the set was over the band took a short break and returned for yet another encore which I feel was a bit much. This encore was actually the highlight of the show for me as they brought out Megafaun again and played altogether to bring it all home.

 

Photos courtesy of Kristine Myers. See full set on Flick h ere.

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