Release Date: Apr 14, 2015
Record label: E Works
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
The raucous Eels of Wonderful, Glorious is not the band that showed up for this concert (which is also captured so handsomely on video for inclusion in the package). This version of the band is in suits, not track wear. Everett is mostly at the piano. The Eels introduce the show with brief, lilting versions of "Where I'm At," Disney's "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Pinocchio, "The Morning," and "Parallels" before Everett greets the audience with a wry, humorous monologue.
Difficult as it is to envision that Mark Oliver Everett cries at night for lack of love from the critics, you still get the feeling that he might be held in even higher esteem if he’d just been a little more work-shy. The relentless rate at which he’s released albums over the past couple of decades means that a new Eels release seldom feels like an event, and therefore is perhaps likelier to be overlooked than if he only popped up every three or four years. Both 2013’s boisterous Wonderful, Glorious and last year’s stripped-back confessional exercise, The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett, failed to make much of a dent on the year-end best-of lists, despite some liberal sprinklings of the old Eels magic across the pair.
Ladies and gentlefolk grab your Sunday best: Eels’ soul-stirring Royal Albert Hall live album/film combo feels like an evening in church. You’ll be a spirit reborn! Sure, there’ll be bearded fellas delivering solemn sermons about death, lost souls, and life basically being one big “Motherfucker”, but don’t despair. You’re in safe hands: the hands of Reverend Mark Oliver Everett.
For two nights in June last year, Mark Everett’s Eels took to the RAH stage as a five-piece, in contrast to the lavish string section they performed with at the same venue nine years prior. But that’s not to say the consummate musicians turn in a solemn show on this three-disc set. Suited and booted, their setlist veers from near hits such as Last Stop: This Town and Flyswatter, to increasingly well-loved recent victories (I Like Birds, Wonderful Glorious, I Like The Way This Is Going).