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concert reviews

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setlist Leeds Festival: Leeds, UK 25-6-2001

reviewed by gord

eels took to the main stage at 3:35 on a hot saturday afternoon to promote
forthcoming album 'Souljacker'.  Sporting a big bushy beard (see
'Souljacker' album cover) denim dungarees and a straw hat, E sleepily began
with 'Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor', which was done slower than the album
version.  The band then played a handful of new songs, which all sound
great. 'Dog Faced Boy', 'Fresh Feeling', 'That's Not Really Funny'
'Souljacker part 1' 'Woman Driving, Man Sleeping' plus two that i didn't
know the names of.  E looked surprisingly comfortable introducing the band
(John Parish on guitar, Butch on drums and Koool G Murder on bass) and the
old songs they played were 'My Beloved Monster' and singalong 'I Like Birds'
which were both done electric, fuzzy, fast and loud.  Apart from introducing
the band, E didn't speak at all inbetween the songs, which was a bit
disappointing because his sardonic wit is brilliant.  Of the new stuff,
'Souljacker part 1' and 'Dog Faced Boy' were the best.  Even though the
album is almost upon us, they would have had a better reaction if they'd
played their hits, or even if E actually said 'these songs are from the new
album' because alot of the crowd wondered what the hell they were singing. 
But eels are eels and therefore exempt from criticism, and the sun shone
brightly down on the 20,000-ish crowd as eels closed with 'Mr. E's Beautiful
Blues'.  Goddamn right ladies and gentlemen, it was a beautiful day.


PS. I reckon John Parish is the first man to appear at the Leeds and Reading
festivals as part of two different bands on the main stage on the same day,
as he later played guitar (and drummed on a song) with PJ Harvey.

Review by Gord.

well, Eels played the Reading Festival before Leeds and... I wasn't too
thrilled. The show started with a new version of Elisabeth On The Bathroom
Floor, then a weird cover of Missy Elloitts Get Y'r Freak On followed. A lot
of new songs were played. Woman Driving, Man Sleeping, Souljacker, That's
Not Really Funny, Fresh Feeling etc. The audience was not really exited to
hear those songs. They wanted hits and the closest to that was a rocking
version of I Like Birds and a VERY weird Beautiful Freak. Then, after only
40 minutes it was over (they had 50 minutes, so they stopped early) and the
band left the stage without saying a word.

After the show we spoke to the Eels soundman Pete Keppler and he told us
that the majority of the recent shows were not well received. Also not the
one at Pukkelpop. The band definately needs to find some kind of routine in
this new show... it's good... could be great... but isn't just yet...

Review by Edgar

so i turn up there ten minutes early for when eels are supposed to start playing, and they're already up there playing it's a motherfucker. grrr no fair. so i think i missed half of it. dunno. the new songs didn't seem to work as well. well, souljacker did, but the others seemed to be a bit too quiet for a big festival of people who've never heard them before or might not even be big fans of eels. when i like birds came on, i knew i recognised the song, but didn't know what it was til the lyrics. was so weird yet cool as a rocking loud song. mr e's beautiful blues was cool too, as was my beloved monster, lots of bopping up and down. bit of a let down though. very good, but i missed half of it, and e wasn't as entertaining as usual, and his beird was just big, as opposed to scary and cool like the video.

Review by Paul

I haven't heard eels for ages, some guy i used to know went on about them so i turned up (i figured it would be one of the bands i wouldn't get punched about while watching). Managing to stir the crowd from a hot mid afternoon lull by translating the deep intimacy of Elizebeth on the Bathroom floor to a field of drunken sunburn folks E had the crowd up and watching. He then proceeded to cover Get Your Freak on so amazingly well as to have the entire crowd smiling like children at the benign hill billy weirdo up on stage. Playing nothing i recognised (but then i only got on album and i bought it after the show), the crowd sat and listened, if it was new material it got listened to, no talking or bumming about just people intent on the music. Without a doubt the best set of the weekend, and without doing a stale festival best of set either. Just breathtaking.

Review by A.M.

2001 by husky, all rights reserved, I ain't responsible for anything!