You can always trust this band to defy all expectations, and that they did!
Put all your expectations aside. You've heard Blinking Lights, you've heard them live at the Town Hall with string accompaniment but that's not what you're getting today! No way Jose, not no way near it!
Out comes a 'security guard' and surveys the audience, looking over them with a stiff chin and features to kill and then the Eels appear in big beards and overalls and goggles; this promises to be some weird trip, and it is. Every song's a rocky, punky runaround, no strings attached indeed, they run through a few of the classics in a style totally contrary to what you'd think, and it works well, and the more they go on the more it sinks in and the more you get into it and the more funny it is.
Most of the songs are just pure guitar, bass and drums and the 'security guard' that came out on his own at the start of the gig starts to dance to the numbers, showing off his marshal arts and kickboxing skills and occasionally shaking a maraca or two to a mic to provide some percussive support.
Yeah, it's cool stuff. In the middle of the set it all breaks down and all that's left is E on his tilting organ pressing one note every now and then, after every press the crowd go wild and cheer like maniacs, he gets into it and the charade lasts minutes, just hitting a white key, the crowd cheer, hitting the note again, the crowd cheer, etc.
The set is not at all serious apart from one rare moment when, pretty much on his own, E plays a slow a haunting number which quietens everyone and sinks right into the hearts of all. But after that it's just groovy rocking-out helluva time to be had by all, all the way through. Good craic from start to finish alright. The highlights were certainly 'Old Shit/New Shit' and heroic ender 'Mr E's Beautiful Blues.'