Neutral Milk Hotel frontman Jeff Mangum has performed only one show in over a decade: a benefit concert in May at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge. But the reclusive singer-songwriter emerged over the weekend to deliver an unannounced, ten-song set at Brooklyn’s Schoolhouse for an exclusive crowd of roughly one hundred fans. Hear five tracks from the gig here and check out the complete setlist below.
According to reports, the crowd sat reverently cross-legged on the venue’s floor, as Magnum delivered a set that was heavy on songs from his band’s 1998 album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, the massively influential record that’s gone on to inspire everyone from Grizzly Bear to Arcade Fire. Mangum’s performance was unassuming but nonetheless powerful, as he performed his set with nothing more than his acoustic guitar and booming, bright voice. After his set, Mangum mingled with the crowd, who parted once he jumped off the stage.
Ba Da Bing Records’ founder Ben Goldberg — who organized the Brooklyn show, as well as Mangum’s benefit gig earlier this year — was on hand for the set and said it was purposefully kept under wraps. “[It was] done intentionally without build-up to let it be as simple and easy going as possible…What I honestly feel like I saw tonight wasn’t the Greatest Musician in the World Performing the Most Amazing Songs Ever, but rather a fantastic musician performing his wonderful songs.”
Jeff Mangum’s Setlist:
“In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”
“King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1”
“Song Against Sex”
“Two Headed Boy”
“Two Headed Boy Pt. 2”