Eels @ Fillmore, SF 2/16/13

February 20. 2013 | By Sean Morris

With grown folks down front and small children up top, San Francisco”s legendary Fillmore was primed for another visit from the Eels.

New Jersey”s Nicole Atkins opened, adorned in a black cape and a midsection-engulfing guitar. Atkins” alto has an impressive wingspan, but her low-key honky tonk ditties felt all the more lonesome without a backing band. The masses were less restless during between-song banter, when she revealed her tour”s unofficial name (“10,000 Leagues Under My Nutsack”) and reveled in the embarrassment that is waking up from a night of new music and cheap vodka spooning with one”s mother.

Eels @ The Fillmore, SF 2/16/13

Eels @ The Fillmore, SF 2/16/13

“E” stands for “ecstatic” this year. Electro-Shock Blues and End Times were padlocked in a steamer trunk for the third date of Eels” world tour. Five identical Adidas tracksuits and sunglasses bounded onstage like a b-boy band and promptly turned the venue”s thermostat up several notches.

Eels @ The Fillmore, SF 2/16/13

Eels @ The Fillmore, SF 2/16/13

Wonderful, Glorious is an album worthy of what Chris Rock calls a “Good Enough Diploma,” but its in-concert counterpart is a thunderous beast. Knuckles” rhythms and Honest Al”s bass broke out of the studio sessions” music box holding cell, tossing the roof like pizza dough. Axemen The Chet mobile casino and P-Boo channeled both synchronized swimmers and junkyard dogs. E juggled lead guitar, maracas, chest pounds, and even a rain stick while gruffly narrating in a literally steroid-injected rasp (he had lost his voice earlier in the day).

Eels @ The Fillmore, SF 2/16/13

The first five selections would have left the stage smoky even without the assistance of a machine (and a certain drug). A mesmerizing “for the ladies” suite oozed like a lava lamp, before ultimately mutating into a live volcano.

Eels @ The Fillmore, SF 2/16/13

E”s joy was palpable throughout. He repeatedly commended his partners in crime with the phrase “GIMME A HUG!” The bromance reached greater heights when E and The Chet renewed their bandmate vows, officiated by Rev. Honest Al.

Eels @ The Fillmore, SF 2/16/13

An act with such a varied discography begets a crowd with no clear consensus of favorite songs. Though the rowdiest reactions were reserved for the Daisies of the Galaxy/Souljacker era, zealot grenades went off frequently, and never in the same place; a Blinking Lights enthusiast here, a Beautiful Freak devotee there. Even the fortnight-old new album had select audience members growling along.

Eels @ The Fillmore, SF 2/16/13

Eels fans around the world should be prepared to dance and grin uncontrollably. Three final words of advice: Don”t. Leave. Early.

Eels @ The Fillmore, SF 2/16/13

Eels @ The Fillmore, SF 2/16/13

~Setlist~
Bombs Away
Kinda Fuzzy
Open My Present
Oh Well (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Tremendous Dynamite
That Look You Give That Guy
On the Ropes
Dirty Girl
Flower
Peach Blossom
Trouble With Dreams
The Turnaround
New Alphabet
Fresh Feeling
Sound of Fear
Go Knuckles!
Itchypoo Park (Small Faces cover)
Souljacker, Part 1
Wonderful, Glorious
——–
I”m Your Brave Little Soldier
My Beloved Monster/Mr. E”s Beautiful Blues (medley)
——–
Fresh Blood
——–
Dog Faced Boy
Go Eels!

Check out all the photos HERE.

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