Anais Mitchell returns to the Iron Horse Music Hall

Anais Mitchell and The Young Man Band
Northampton, MA February 27, 2012

Performance Videos:

Anais Mitchell returned to one of her favorite venues, The Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton MA. Mitchell and her new band, The Young Man Band featuring: Rachel Ries, Ben Davis and Noah Hahn are out promoting her new CD which dropped today "Young Man In America"

Mitchell played 1:45 minutes before a very close to sold out venue (it was a Monday night after all.)

Rachel Ries and a Badger Pelt
The new band is coming together nicely and the vocal harmonies of Mitchell, Ries and Davis are amazing. To hear such angelic sounds singing some pretty gritty lyrics is quite an experience. 

Right before she treated the audience to "Dyin Day" she talked about NPR's On Point radio show last week and how the conversation somehow got on the subject of animal pelts, and that the kick drum's sheep skin "needed a friend pelt". A couple from Cornish NH (Inga and Nick) who were listening in and who tan 'road kill' contacted Mitchell after the radio show and said they'd bring a few pelts to the Iron Horse show. Well...the band chose a badger (pictured here) and a coyote that was on stage under Mitchell's feet. Mitchell gave a shout out to Inga and Nick!

Her set featured mostly songs off the new CD but she did treat the full house to a few rarities too. The band left the stage leaving Mitchell to do a solo. She asked the for audience some suggestions and the first she heard was "Come September" from the 2008 Righteous Babe Record release Country EP with Rachel Ries. Rather than do it solo she called Ries on stage. 

Another treat came when Mitchell announced that "I'd like to play a super old song" and off they went into..."Cosmic American" Mitchell explained how she wrote it as a student studying in Egypt. The song is off her 2004 Waterbug Records release "Hymns for the Exiled."

The band closed the set with "Ships", the last song on the new CD and then returned for an encore of "Why We Build The Wall" off her critically acclaimed 2010 folk opera "Hadestown." Mitchell asked the audience to sing along and for this song Ries and Davis switched instruments.

Wilderland/Young Man in America
Coming Down
Dyin Day
O My Star
He Did
Come September (with Rachel Ries)
You Are Forgiven
Cosmic American
Of A Friday Night
Why We Build the Wall

Joshua Meltzer opened the show and began promptly at 7 pm. He introduced one of his songs with a story about how it was written; he was attending a writers workshop and was rapidly approaching his deadline.

He was in a New York coffee shop sitting next to a couple that appeared to be breaking up. The couple got up and Meltzer thinking this might make a good song followed them out of the shop. "So here's the stalker ballad of the evening, Beautiful Mistake" said Meltzer.
Meltzer also told the audience that Anais Mitchell was he first person he saw after moving east from Los Angeles, in fact it was at the Iron Horse.

He closed his 30 minute set by saying "what's a night without a murder ballard" and began The Mountain.

Copyright ©2012 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

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