An excerpt from that night:
Former Neutral Milk Hotel frontman Jeff Mangum set up shop at the Cleveland Masonic Auditorium (a beautiful venue) last night, delivering on promises set forth in classic albums recorded more than a decade ago. It was surreal; Mangum was clad in a scraggly beard and baseball cap and hundreds of Neutral Milk Hotel obsessives got their chance to rub elbows with indie glory.Anyway, all that glory simply foreshadowed next spring's anticipated return of Mangum — and the whole band this time — as Neutral Milk Hotel performs at the Masonic Auditorium on April 21. (Pre-sale tickets hit the web tomorrow.)
As Mangum sat alone on stage, strumming his grandfather's acoustic guitars and humming his most beloved songs, it seemed that we were all congregating at the very source of his craft. It became easy to picture Mangum along in his bedroom, years ago, writing "Song Against Sex" and the rest of the Neutral Milk Hotel catalog. These stripped-down takes on indie classics were filtered through time and the unfortunately overwhelming hype heaped onto albums like In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.
Despite famously breaking up in 1999, this might *really* be the last chance to see the band live. "dear friends," the band writes, "we love you but it's time to say goodbye for the never ending now to announce that spring 2015 will be our last tour for the foreseeable future and so we extend our deepest gratitude to all the beautiful people who came to see us over the last year..."
Who knows if this is it for the band? But with the prospect of an indefinite touring hiatus, at the very least, this will be an important show.