Neutral Milk Hotel released it's last album 12 years ago, and Jeff Mangum doesn't perform much, so when he went on tour this year, his two New York City shows sold out at lightening speed. That's how we ended up in Jersey City. I was a little dubious about seeing a show there, because Jersey City doesn't have the best reputation, but the venue, the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre is amazing. It was originally opened in 1929, and was built in an amazing Baroque/Rococo style. It closed in 1986, but now it's under continuing restoration and has live events and old films. It's beautiful. It reminds me of a theater Kevin and I went to in Richmond years ago. Plus the theater is in Journal Square right across from the New Jersey Path trains so it's actually pretty convenient. nd the night of the concert the bar next door, the Journal Square Pub was awesome too. The bar was selling super cheap drinks and blasting Latin music, at least until people started picking pop tunes off the jukebox. I would definitely go back to the venue for other shows.
The upper level of the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre in Jersey City, NJ
Briggs and Kevin in the lobby of the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre
As for the concert, Jeff Mangum was great. He was just seated in the middle of the stage playing an acoustic guitar, so the music sounded different than the albums. I hadn't been to a concert in two years because there really wasn't time or motivation when my dad was sick in 2010, and then after we had the baby in 2011. Listening to any sad songs is still not a rewarding experience, and Mangum isn't light pop. But I tried to stay focused and it was a good show.
Jeff Mangum November 5, 2011