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- Posted on Oct 19th 2009 2:00PM by Charley Rogulewski
The Monsters of Folk's self-titled debut, released in September via Shangri-La Records, lasts all of 55 minutes, but that didn't stop the foursome plus add-on drummer Will Johnson from clocking in a two hour and 45 minute show that included a four-song encore. The set was filled in with songs from the members' projects, with each Monster helping the others on their respective songs. Oberst shared verses with James on the My Morning Jacket tune 'Smokin From Shootin,' one of the most upbeat moments in the whole concert, along with the Bright Eyes track 'Bottom of Everything (We Must Sing)' and the set closer 'Losin My Head,' a Monsters of Folk original. In addition to keeping track of the tunes, keeping track of who played what instrument was almost as difficult. Ward jumped between guitar and a vintage piano, the latter on the standout rockabilly MOF track 'Whole Lotta Losin'.'
Mogis, introduced by Oberst as a "handsome son of a bitch,' added a bluegrass twang to the evening. The producer switched between Dobro, steel pedal and mandolin, the latter for the Bright Eyes track 'We Are Nowhere and It's Now,' which Oberst dedicated to the "touring musicians in the audience" that he put on the guest list. Johnson even switched to guitar, helping James on the MMJ track 'Bermuda Highway.' Other My Morning Jacket cuts included 'I Will Be There When You Die' and 'At Dawn.'
Other Monster of Folk tunes standouts included 'Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.),' the Oberst vocal lead 'Map of the World,' the M.Ward vocal lead 'The Sandman, The Brakeman and Me' and the show finale 'His Master's Voice' with vocals led by James. The song was a rightful end to a beautiful night -- his howl echoed into the foggy L.A. evening as people left content seeing four bands for the price of one.