Mirah with No Kids
The Epiphany Church – Chicago, IL
In brief, the show rocked; Mirah, acoustic, great acoustics, solo, a church, audience sat in the pews or the floor, a good set from the No Kids, a lot of band-to-audience interaction, and not a lot of waiting.
I wasn’t pumped to see the No Kids; their albums don’t excite me like they do for some, and their set opening for the Dirty Projectors half a year ago also seemed wasted on me. This time, however, the band made definite strides. Perhaps it was the church, but lead singer Nick Krgovich did acknowledge their softened renditions. Nick’s fear was that they merged a mellow ending with a peaceful New Age tape that the band recently listened to during a frightening plane turbulence experience.
The night was full of excuses; atop the list was Kellam’s newborn, which seems to defy their “No Kids” moniker, if you ask me. Krgovich developed a good relationship with the attentive audience that sat before the band. Excuse number two emerged as his keyboard wasn’t the one he usually uses – this one forcing him to go an octave higher. Therefore, highlight “The Beaches Are Closed” took two tries, (and was well worth it).
Question: Was the song “Beanbag,” new? If so, it’s among the No Kids’ best, if not, why don’t I remember this one? The song keeps a running list of really cool compound words, including Bean-bag, Crack-pipe, Pot-hole, mad-girl, etc.
The wait for Mirah could certainly have been longer, and thankfully, for our sore asses she came out quickly in the cheerful Mirah mood you’d expect. Mirah played an hour-long, 15-song set that depended on at most a pedal and acoustic guitar – four selections were audience-aided a capellas. This tour opens the door for pretty much any song in her massive catalogue, as it supports her Old Days Feeling rarities release. The set was actually heavily constricted to songs that didn’t involve the use of her left pinky, which Mirah cut the tip off from.
At 9:15. Mirah went into the opener, “We’re Both So Sorry.” “Advisory Committee” came next, another familiar tune, before the good news; a new song, from the just finished new record (out in March), that sounded pretty good (far better than Share This Place), which seems to be called “Gone Are The Days.” This one fit the acoustic, lyric-based numbers, which flowed nicely with the rest of the set.
The next new one (also good, “We Don’t Owe Nothing” (?) was sandwiched in between the faithful “Look Up!” “While We Have The Sun,” and “The Sun.” “The World Is Falling Apart” was fittingly selected after Mirah urged everyone to vote, hinting OBAMA, half-jokingly adding that she hopes this new song will be no longer true nor needed by the time the record hits shelves. Mirah’s lyrics proved to return to bigger, more familiar topics (not so much bugs), and holding strong onto her “Apple Tree” motif.
“Person, Person” was one of the lucky fan requests that didn’t involve Mirah’s pinky. Of the remaining 6, four songs were a capella. The extremely fun “Pollen” made a choir out of the audience who divided themselves between two melodies. Mirah stayed on the no-instrument route with a sing-a-long in the chorus of “I Am The Light Of This World.”
Hits may have been absent from the set for the most part, but strong selections were made throughout, as “Speak My Children” and “Mt. St. Helens” came before the very wise “Garden” closer. I did not expect Mirah to show for the encore, but the fans demanded one from their huge applause. Tempted to use her not-so-bothered pinky, she considered going into one like “Gone Sugaring,” but thought better of the future of the tour and chose the playful “Words Cannot Describe” to wrap up the beautiful set, and excellent show. I definitely recommend shows at the Epiphany, or any Church for that matter if you are on the fence on a particular band.
Photos of Mirah and No Kids: