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Jeff Mangum played Town Hall (setlist)

(photo by _crobin)
Mangum

For the entire hour-long set, during which he played only old songs, the audience sat rapt, hanging on every note. And between songs, if anything, the focus sharpened alongside a collective hope that the odd, angular figure in the page-boy cap might take five minutes to explain everything: why he took a J.D. Salinger-like dive out of public life, why he’s back now, and what the future holds.

But true to character, Mangum gave up little. At one point, he said the audience could ask him questions — and a few rang out. But the one he chose to answer — “What’s your favorite book?” — he didn’t really answer at all. “You know the answer to that one,” he said, cryptically. Devoted fans suspected, perhaps, that he was referring to “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which supposedly inspired many of the songs on “Aeroplane.” But it could have just as easily been anything else — “The Catcher in The Rye” or “Gravity’s Rainbow,” the Bible or the Koran or “How to Make Friends and Influence People.” Who the heck knew?

Over the course of the set, we did get something out of the guy: When he performs, he craves a sense of community. It was unexpected, coming from someone who has so cautiously guarded his privacy throughout the years. But he repeatedly asked the audience to sing along with him — and uttered gracious notes of thanks when we complied. Twice, he asked for the house lights to be raised so he could “see the faces” of those to whom he was playing, and he answered several “we love you, Jeff!” hoots throughout the night, with an earnest and direct: “Thank you, my friend.” [Wall Strett Journal]

Jeff also played a Roky Erickson cover, like he did in Asbury Park, at Town Hall in NYC on Saturday night (10/29). Olof Arnalds opened. If you missed it, you have two more chances to see him in Jersey City. The Town Hall setlist is below…


Jeff Mangum @ Town Hall, New York, NY, USA on October 29, 2011
Two Headed Boy Pt. 2
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Song Against Sex
Gardenhead / Leave Me Alone
Oh Comely
I Love The Living You (Roky Erickson cover)
Ghost
A Baby for Pree
Naomi
The King of Carrot Flowers, Part One
The King of Carrot Flowers, Parts Two & Three
Holland, 1945

Encore:
Two-Headed Boy
Engine

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