By Katie Lamar
It was hard to know whether to burst out in joy or to burst out in tears when Neutral Milk Hotel announced that they would be touring in the spring for, quite possibly, the last time. Yes, they are touring. But yes, my heart is still broken.
It is blessing that this indie rock band even decided to come out of hiding and begin performing again in 2013. Their lead singer, Jeff Mangum, copped out of playing in public in the early 2000s. Ever since, the band has been very quiet. No new music. No shows. No information. Something that has not been quiet, though, is their following. Their rebirth since they stopped performing has been spectacular. As time has passed, more and more people have become aware of this spectacular and unique band. People of all ages have to come appreciate Neutral Milk Hotel’s music and sound. A mixture of older men and women as well as college students are spread throughout each crowd. It is absolutely a miracle that they are touring in 2015. Known best for their two albums, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, and On Avery Island, they have also in the past included songs from their EP, Everything Is.
The closest venue they’re playing is in Massachusetts at Mass Moca. Playing from April through June, they are treading across the United States to places like Rhode Island, Washington and Kansas to share their stuff. They extended their “deepest gratitude to all the beautiful people who came to see us over the last year.”
A Neutral Milk Hotel concert is a lot different than any average concert most young adults experience. Julian Koster, one of the band members, is notorious for playing the singing saw, a hand instrument that creates an ethereal, glossy tone. Jeff Mangum, the lead musician, is a quiet character whose lyrics are able to cut further than skin deep. The band together shows such an enthusiasm for the music. That is why this tour is so important. Anybody who is seeing Neutral Milk Hotel in 2015 is fortunate and lucky to see such a great band.