Festaal Kreuzberg is teeming with a calm excitement, which matches that of the headlining act. Mount Eerie, hailing from America’s North West, takes the stage after opener No Kids at this small venue in Berlin during the band’s European tour this past spring. The crowd has been quiet for a while, moving slowly towards the stage in anticipation. “Hello, we’re Mount Eerie. And we’re gonna play some songs.” Says Phil Elverum modestly into the microphone. “Thank you for being an audience, and I hope you enjoy it.” At this he turns and the show begins on a rib-cage-vibrating frequency.
Festaal can be described to New Yorkers as Berlin’s small scale Webster hall; the stage is close to the floor and a balcony encircles the top of the room. The floor is filled with people, all moving within their own space; some are swaying slightly while others bang their heads at a low-fi pace. They’re playing songs off their newest album, Wind’s Poem, as Elverum explains about half way through the show, “we’re at track 7…just so you know where we’re at.” His voice is just a whisper amplified, much like the vocals on most of the tracks. There is a softer sound to Wind’s Poem than most of Elverum’s earlier projects including, The Microphones. But the same naturalistic themes, which come from the artist’s upbringing in Seattle, persist.
As the set comes to and end Elverum stops again, the lights are dimmed on the stage except for his face. “Maybe… you could consider this our last song, kind of like an encore with out us having to leave the stage. I hate that. And we wanted to end on this song because it really is the culmination of the entire album,” he explains to his eager audience. There are subdued claps and a few words of encouragement from the crowd and again he turns his back, closing the show on the same note as it opened—with a fervent, sincere force.