Eels - Royal Albert Hall

by paul_guyet Rating:7.5 Release Date:2015-04-13

I've seen Eels about a dozen times in as many years and, every time, it might as well be a different (extraordinarily gifted and well rehearsed) Eels cover band that just happens to be fronted by E (lead singer of Eels). While this is the band's sixth live album*, it's only their third concert film, joining the ranks of With Strings Live at Town Hall and Eels Live and in Person!, and, aside from the beard and the suit, you might not know it's the same guys.

The subtle lighting and simple production set-up at RAH allow the viewers to focus on the "sweet, soft bummer rock" pouring from off the stage and into their home, allow them to really appreciate the ridiculously talented band of multi-instrumentalists, consisting of P Boo, Royal Al, Knuckles, the Chet and E.** These guys have been E's band for a while and, together, wrote the 2013 opus, Wonderful, Glorious.  

Highlights include the heartbreakingly vulnerable 'When You Wish Upon a Star', the reworkings of both 'Fresh Feeling' and 'I Like Birds', 'Parallels', 'Daisy Through Concrete', and the covers of both 'Can't Help Falling in Love' and 'Turn on Your Radio'. Plus, this might have the best ending of any concert film I've ever seen.

Personally, I found my attention wandering at times, perhaps because the stage set-up was a bit too subtle or perhaps because the song in question was from 2014's The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett (which wasn't my favorite Eels album in recent memory), and I could have done with a bit more backstage footage, as I love watching these guys interact with one another, but it's not called Eels Mucking About Backstage at the Royal Albert Concert Hall, now, is it?

In the end, no, this isn't going to perfectly capture the evening, but, it's a nice snapshot, and, whether you missed it, or attended and want to relive the show, you should grab this and, next time, make it a priority to see Eels - you'll never get the same show twice.

* If you're counting Tremendous Dynamite as two, which you should.

** I'm just realizing now, typing their names out, that Eels, to the uninitiated, might seem like a really shitty rap group.

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