Jeff Mangum @ Paramount Theater

While this past Monday’s Jeff Mangum show at the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park fell under the guise of ATP’s weekend-long I’ll Be Your Mirror music festival, it was available to non-ATP attendees and served as a separate event from the weekend festivities. And did it ever deserve its own night! We attended both Friday and Sunday performances and were expecting more of the same. What we got was something even better. [Photo via relaxing]

The night before Jeff hinted that Scott Spillane’s horn section would return one of these days after a vague reply to a question from the audience. I figured maybe Scott and fellow Elephant Sixers may join each others’ sets at Mangum’s curated ATP Festival in Minehead in December, since all members of Neutral Milk Hotel would already be playing with their current and respective projects. Instead, Jeff surprised all by inviting Jeremy Barnes’ (Neutral Milk Hotel drummer) Hawk and a Hacksaw, who served as the opening act, on stage for two songs. The first guest appearance was mid-set during “April 8th” from NMH’s On Avery Island. The second appearance by Barnes and company was during “The Fool,” the final song during Jeff’s two-song encore. Jeff alone with his acoustic guitar is a revelation, but to hear these songs more fully realized left us hoping we’d get to see a Neutral Milk Hotel reunion one of these days. Beyond that, would we be greedy to hope for new music as well? Probably. However, Jeff did leave that door open on Friday night when asked if he would ever write music again. “If my heart is in it” was his response.

Jeff seemed much more comfortable this time out. He appeared flat-footed and reserved during the first two performances earlier in the weekend but was moving about during Monday’s show. His requests for sing-alongs were now demands … “If you know the words, sing the fucking song.” And he seemed confident throughout. After a few quick exchanges between songs, he told the audience, “I’m going to go back to doing what I’m good at.” Another highlight of the night included the second ever performance of “Little Birds.” Hear a stream of the rare live performance of the song below [via Tyler Coates]

Check out Monday’s set list at the bottom of the page. Jeff has a few more dates in 2011, but you may need to hit Stubhub if you don’t already have tix. Most of the shows are sold out. Fortunately for some, he’s just added a second show in Jersey City in November. See the rest of his tour dates below:

Oct 29 New York, NY Town Hall SOLD OUT
Nov 5 Jersey City, NJ Loew’s Jersey Theatre (just added)
Nov 6 Jersey City, NJ Loew’s Jersey Theatre SOLD OUT
Nov 30 Dublin, IRE Whelan’s SOLD OUT
Dec 2 – Dec 4 Minehead, UK All Tomorrow’s Parties Curated by Jeff Mangum at Butlins Holiday Centre SOLD OUT
Dec 8 London, UK Union Chapel SOLD OUT
Dec 9 London, UK Union Chapel SOLD OUT

Jeff Mangum Setlist Paramount Theatre, Asbury Park, NJ, USA 2011
Mark Written by:

Avid concert goer and film buff obsessed with indie and electronic music.

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