This past Saturday at Symphony Space marked the third night of the four-show A Stephin Merritt / The Magnetic Fields Residency that featured two nights of Magnetic Fields, and a show each for his bands The Gothic Archies and Future Bible Heroes.

Saturday was the second evening focusing on The Magnetic Fields, and the Peter J. Sharp Theatre was completely sold-out; even SRO spaces were occupied in the balcony. The ensemble played a nearly two-hour, 31-song set drawing largely from 69 Love Songs, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, and their most recent album, 2017's 50 Song Memoir. I was particularly happy to hear my personal favorites "Andrew in Drag," "I Think I Need a New Heart," "I Wish I Had an Evil Twin," and "All My Little Words," which closed out the show. We also heard a cover of The Left Banke's "Walk Away, Renee" and four new songs. While Merritt and his sonorous bass range voice handled most of the lead vocal duties, Claudia Gonson and Shirley Simms alternated on a good third of the setlist.

For both nights of The Magnetic Fields at Symphony Space, the lineup consisted of core members Merritt, Gonson, and Simms, and fellow core members Sam Davol and John Woo. Longtime contributor Chris Ewen (also of part of Future Bible Heroes) played synthesizers and piano. Instead of Andrew Kaczynski, who appeared with the band at the previous show, this past weekend's performance featured guests Pinky Weitzman on viola and Stroh violin, and Daniel Handler (who is a member of Gothic Archies and the alter ego of author Lemony Snicket) on accordion. Pictures from the night are in the gallery above and setlists for both Symphony Space Magnetic Fields shows are below.

The final show in the Symphony Space residency happens on Thursday (12/12) and focuses on The Gothic Archies (sold out).

SETLIST: The Magnetic Fields @ Symphony Space 12/7/2019
With Whom to Dance?
Too Drunk to Dream
Reno Dakota
Born on a Train
Roses
Andrew in Drag
'71 I Think I'll Make Another World
The Nun's Litany
Asleep and Dreaming
I Think I Need a New Heart
'96 I'm Sad!
The Horrible Party
Love Goes Home to Paris in the Spring
(New Song)
The Night You Can't Remember
'02 Be True to Your Bar
Josephine
(New Song)
Walk Away Renee (The Left Banke cover)
Zebra
Busby Berkeley Dreams
No One Will Ever Love You
Grand Canyon
'14 I Wish I Had Pictures
Epitaph for My Heart
I Wish I Had an Evil Twin

Encore:
Acoustic Guitar
Papa Was a Rodeo
All My Little Words

SETLIST: The Magnetic Fields @ Symphony Space 11/16/2019 (via)
This Little Ukulele
I Don't Believe in the Sun
(New Song)
(New Song)
100,000 Fireflies
'69 Judy Garland
'70 They're Killing Children Over There
Looking for Love (In the Hall of Mirrors) (The 6ths)
Come back from San Francisco
A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off
All the Umbrellas in London
Drive On, Driver
Boa Constrictor
I'm Sorry I Love You
Smoke and Mirrors
Quick!
(New Song)
(New Song)
Love Is Like Jazz
The Book of Love
'01 Have You Seen It in the Snow?
(New Song)
'66 Wonder Where I'm From
Fear of Trains
Take Ecstasy With Me
Kiss Me Like You Mean It
It's Only Time

Encore:
I Don't Want to Get Over You
Yeah! Oh, Yeah!

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photos by Ellen Qbertplaya