Eels - Crescent Ballroom - 5/14/2014
Melissa Fossum The Eels played Crescent Ballroom on Wednesday, May 14.
Once upon a time, it was a motherfucker.
The crowd sat in utter silence, except when prompted to clap or laugh, depending on what the magic man did. And, for all intents and purposes, he was magical. E., the man, the myth, the legend. Mark Oliver Everett ("E" to his friends and fans), son of a famous physicist, was like the pied piper of hip (not hipster) Phoenix Wednesday night at Crescent Ballroom.
It felt like a storybook kind of event. In fact, it would not have surprised me if at some point during the evening, a Disney princess had floated into the venue. Walking into the Crescent, seeing all the seats set up for the docile disciples, a plan of inaction was set in place to keep the stage volume low and the "masses" inactive yet weirdly participatory. It was orchestrated brilliance and an utterly satisfactory first show of the Eels 2014 tour.
Opening act Miner, a Los Angeles-based family act (husband and wife, plus husband's brother) was nice. They were entertaining to a certain extent, and their enthusiasm for themselves was not particularly unpleasant, although it was not anything you couldn't find playing in the background of the most self-absorbed coffee shops in America. If anything, they only made the audience more hungry for Eels.
After a short intermission, Eels took the stage and from that point forward, one man was in complete control of the night.