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concert reviews

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setlist Lowlands Festival, Biddinghuizen, The Netherlands: August 26
* Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor
* Get ur freak on
* Dog Faced Boy
* That's Not Really Funny
* Going to Your Funeral, Part I
* It's a Motherfucker
* Souljacker I
* My Beloved Monster
* Woman Driving, Man Sleeping
* Not Ready Yet
* World of Shit
* Unknown
* Mr. E's Beautiful Blues
When the blankets were packed, I hurried to the Alpha tent where eels would
be playing an hour after Stone Temple Pilots. Luckily I met Breun and his
friends and Kleinemans and Lisette there quikly. There were all eels fans.
Already standing at the gate or sitting on the ground. We sat ourselves on
the ground too, waving eachother some cool air, drinking some water and
having some fine talks. We had to wait an hour still, listening to the
testing of the microphones (tswo-tswo-tswo-one-tswo). They played The Moldy
Peaches' "Who's Got the Crack?"
Then, at four o'clock, Butch and two guitarists (John Parish and Koool
G)came up. And look out there! There is E! With his huge beard in a blue
overall (which made him look bigger than he is), sunglasses.
They played their setlist and disappeared. Much applause, but no more eels,
ten minutes before they should have quitted. A pity. They had played their
songs and went away.
Here's the setlist as far as I know the songs.
- Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor (at the end of the song, E laid his head
on the piano as if he were Elizabeth)
- Some Missy Elliot cover, accordingly to Breun
- Dog Faced Boy
- A nice song, I don't know it's name, E sang : "You say a lot of things, my
little bunny"
- Going to Your Funeral, Part I (Butch played his bird flute at the end)
Butch gets a little rest when the others play
- It's a Motherfucker
- Souljacker I (dutchies: did you know it was the VPRO week single?)
- My Beloved Mad Monster Party!
- Woman Driving, Man Sleeping
- Not Ready Yet (they played it nearly the same as the first time at
lowlands. Still rockin')
- World of Shit
- I don't know wich song they were playing. Some love song.
- Mr. E's (everybody was dancing, happily ever after. Koool G had a big
smile on his face and I think even E looked cheerful)

Review by Marijke

i was at the lowlands festival and saw eels at the 26th of august. the show was quite disappointing, even though it started promised and brave with elizabeth on the bathroom floor, going to your funeral and a cover of missy elliot's get ur freak on.
i guess e was in a bad mood, because their was no contact between the
band and the public at all, whereas he's usually making funny remarks
and stuff. musically it was quite a let down: none of the new stuff
really impressed me. luckily i know it's probably quite good, just
have to wait for the album.

Review by Herman

The EELS are changing… And they won't stop!

Strange how I keep liking them though…. It's just that there's one thing that they could never change: Being the best f***ing band in this world of shit! (If you want to skip this bullshit and go directly to the concert, go to '2'.

By the way, I saw them at Lowlands. Lowlands, the dirty pit of smoking and drinking animals…. The whole weekend I was watching hard-rock bands and stuff and none of them really amused me….
For this occasion (seeing eels for the first time) I brought this expensive camera with me to take some high quality shots of the concert. But when I got there, this sign told me that you are practically not allowed to bring anything with you except for your clothes and the program of artists. So I was a bit down for a while. But then I found that you could buy these little throw-away-after-you-use-them-camera thingies. Crappy quality of course, but my only chance to take some pics from the band I love.

Anyway, to have a good view I showed up 90 minutes before the show where this other band was performing, I don't exactly remember the name, but they showed me why I like the eels and not them ;-).
It was a good deal that I brought these things with me to protect my ears.
During their show, I shuffled to the front and it did pretty well…. They weren't too popular I guess, but hell, they acted like it! Sorry, if anyone likes this band: It's your right to like it, just don't listen to my crap here, O.K.?

After this show was over, I was able to sneak up to the front some more, surrounded by other hardcore-eels fans. I managed to get very near the stage (as far as that was possible) and there was only one person between me and the place where it would all happen. We only had to wait an hour but I knew it would be worth it. I waited six months for Christ's sake…..

Believe it or not, that hour was so exciting! First that average drumset from the previous band got removed. Instead there Butch's drumset! With all those little things and extra's! Then the Fucker amplifiers were installed. From that moment on I stopped caring. About anything else but eels! E's little electric piano/organ thing (Sexy Grandpa) got installed right in front of the audience and I just couldn't believe that E was going to sit there in about 45 minutes. During the sound check all the other instruments were tested. I saw Koool G Murder's electric bass and it was the same as in the video. And I saw John Parish's Gibson and some other guitars I hadn't seen before. But I really got excited when I saw E's 'main guitar', I believe it's a Gibson and it looked pretty much like a Les Paul model to me (the one with yellow/orange in the middle and then sunburst to black). And I saw a white guitar with an 'E' on it! Aaaaaaaah! I got so excited! I thought like 'Wow, this is really happening! I never got this close to E and his pals….' (of course not, this was my first time to see them live…).

2. Then, the time was there… I took a look behind me and I couldn't see anything but enthusiastic people in this really big tent on this pretty cool festival. I don't remember if the eels were announced but it all started with smoke and dodgy sounds and this went on for a while and then, finally, there was Butch!!! He made a little bow to the audience and settled himself behind his drumset. Then, Koool G Murder, John Parish and E walked on stage and the audience went crazy (including me, of course). They did a little settings to the amps and then they kicked of for a wonderful set of songs.

Of course I read some reviews before, but at that moment I couldn't think anymore and it was a happy surprise that they started with 'Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor'. It was totally different than the album version, it was much rockier with distortion guitars and everything, but still it kept its scary and at the same time intimate feeling.
After that, E sat behind his piano and played the cover of Missy Elliot: Get Ur Freak on. That was so funny! It was the last song I expected E to play, but come to think about it, I read somewhere that they were doing that cover…
After that I was just in the clouds and I didn't bring any paper and pencil with me to write down the complete setlist in the right order. But I do remember, as for the old songs, they played 'Going to you Funeral Part 1' which I recognized immediately. But when they did 'My beloved Monster' I only recognized it when he started singing. It was so different! They changed the loudness of the chorus and the verses so that the verses were loud and the chorus soft. It was cool.

They also played 'Mr. E's beautiful Blues' which I didn't recognize as well 'till he started singing. They changed the whole rhythm!
It was when they played 'Not ready yet' that the audience went really crazy! It was recognizable, but it was a different version indeed. It was pretty long, but so cool!
'It's a Motherfucker' was also played in a totally different, more guitar-based version. Still it was so beautiful. I'm sure everybody loved it.

As for the new songs, they played 'Dog faced Boy' which was weird but rocked! They also played 'That's not really funny' and I loved it! 'Woman driving, Man sleeping' was great performed live, I'm sure most of you have heard that song. E did the solo on his piano thing and it sounded great. As for 'Souljacker Part 1', that was really a song that belonged to the setlist. It's better to be touched by a band that can also rock you and it's better to be rocked by a band that can also touch you. Souljacker rocked us.
'Bus Stop Boxer' was one of the catchy songs with, I believe, Butch helping E vocally in the refrain. (I'm not sure, I couldn't see Butch too well because John Parish was standing in the way all the time…)
'World of Shit' is a great ballad and it was a shame that it was performed in front of such a big audience. It's hard to bring the message, to connect with the people (but according to Butch they did a great job…).

I'm sure they did other songs too, but my mind had already been in the clouds for 60 min and my memory wasn't working well… But I know they didn't play 'I like Birds' which I would like to hear in an electric version. Same as '3Speed'. And it sucked that they didn't play 'Fresh Feeling' (oh well, I'm probably just acting spoiled here…)

The thing that really was a bit disappointing was that they left about 7 min. earlier and everybody was expecting them to come back, everybody was yelling 'We want more! We want more!' and it was so obvious that they were coming back for one last song, like 'Novocaine for the Soul' or something, but unfortunately, they didn't…
I stayed there till 5:20 p.m. but they really weren't coming back…
As for E's mood… Same as the other stories, he didn't say a word, but in the meantime seemed to enjoy making music, 'cause he kept lifting his eyebrows now and then (at least I hope he did that because he enjoyed what he was doing). Still, it was so weird to not hear him speak to the audience now and then… I believe the only thing he said was: "John Parish, why don't you start the next song?" and a little later a "thank you" to the audience and at the end he rapidly introduced the band and a short "bye" and they were gone… Well, maybe he just let the music speak… And hell, it did speak!

I wasn't on earth for a couple of hours and I'm glad to be back again. All I know is that when the next (real) eels show is in Holland, I'll take the first plane to it!

Review by Jonathan Tielemans (a.k.a 'Blaze' or 'BlazesFreshFeeling')

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