Next to its performance space, Union Hall has one of the most beautiful bathrooms. Stylish sinks against one wall and unisex stalls against another. These have full-length, wooden doors for privacy, with a sign that changes between “Vacant” and “Occupied.” Here, Carey Mercer of Frog Eyes claimed, was a pervert on the loose. He began the show by asking if anyone had seen him. He explained: a woman had opened a door that said “Vacant,” and the man inside had responded, “Oh, come in.” When the singer asked if the pervert was in the audience, several hands went up.
Alex Delivery video and other curious incidents after the jump.
“Reform the Countryside”
The talkative Carey Mercer may be a goofball in between songs, saying “the woman wants more of my vocals” when drummer Melanie Campbell, his wife, asked for it on her monitor. But when he performs, it’s as if he’s possessed: singing like his voice was a fireball spit out of his mouth, and convulsing when he’s on the guitar. She, on the other hand, drummed without the slightest change on her face.
Union Hall’s performance area is on the small side, and the conversations amongst the attendants are usually audible during song breaks. Somewhere in the second half of the set, we all heard a woman’s urgent voice, “Are you kidding me?” I thought, “that’s rude,” but apparently a drunk person had accidentally thrown up on his neighbor, who had, in response, punched the puking drunkard in the face. Carey Mercer asked for updates from the stage- someone reported there was a knife fight. “I consider this a disruption,” he said, and waited to be told the troublemakers had been escorted out. “New York is getting tough again,” he observed, and continued: “Hey, there’s a knife fight going on there, but we’re going to play another song… too-doo-doo too-doo-doo…”
When Frog Eyes announced they had come to their last song, there was a chorus of “Nooo”. Carey suggested, “If you guys leave this room and pay again to get in, we’ll play another… Do you know how expensive putting together this show was?” To this a woman in the audience sincerely said, “Oh, fuck off. Are you kidding me?” The bassist had a joke to make: pointing to the ancient carpet on the stage, he said: “This magic carpet here didn’t get us to New York City.” Then Carey conceded with a chuckle, “Yes, we are kidding.”
The songs were mostly from the newest album Tears of the Valedictorian, including “Idle Wild,” “Stockades,” “Evil Energy the Ill Twin of,” “Reform the Countryside” and “Bushels” (the real last song they included for free). “One in Six Children Will Flee in Boats” was one of the older ones, though there were also a couple even newer than Valedictorian.