It's frankly a miracle that Eleanor Friedberger was able to get through a full set of songs last night.
There were distractions galore going on around the stage at Mississippi Studios. More than one beverage loudly dropped from the upstairs balcony - making the decision to only serve drinks in plastic cups that much smarter. Then there was the young female superfan who acted out a sad short story before the audience's eyes - breaking up with her male companion midset, then proceeding to get more and more drunk and more annoying for the people around her and poor Eleanor and her band.
To that woman's credit, she was singing along to every word of the songs from Friedberger's fantastic solo album Last Summer as she got further under the sway of the demon alcohol. And to Eleanor's credit, she soldiered through, smiling at first about it, but then uttering a frustrated "Oh God" during her solo cover on Spoon's "Trouble Comes Running" when the drunk woman reappeared at the foot of the stage carrying three fresh drinks. (Seriously, Mississippi Studios...who kept serving this woman?) (Also, did everyone know that Eleanor and Britt Daniel used to date? She mentioned that last night on stage before this song introducing it by saying that her "old boyfriend moved here...this is a song he wrote.")
The external annoyances only added to a feeling of wobbliness that pervaded the set. Touring guitarist John Eatherly played fast and loose with his often off-tune solos that at times evoked former Voidoid Ivan Julian, and others sounded confused and jumbly. Friedberger held steady as best she could, but occasionally had to stop playing to catch up with the rest of her band.
When all was running smoothly on stage, it was precision auto time. Friedberger and band laid into stripped back takes on "My Mistakes" and the disco rumble of "Roosevelt Island" with a Feelies-like sturdiness. I can only hope that Friedberger and her young fan (whose disconsolate post-show appearance deepened as her actions caught up with her blurry mind) hold on to those moments when they think back on the evening.