Review: The Mountain Goats ‘Bleed Out’ at Roxian Theatre (and a little bit about parking)

I like this band because they sing songs constructed around stories of people who have been wronged, abused, marginalized. And that theme resonates with me.


I attended the Mountain Goats’ concert last night at the Roxian Theatre in McKees Rocks. Here below are my thoughts on the concert venue and the concert itself.

The concert was held at the recently renovated Roxian Theatre. Let me say that I’m a sucker for old buildings. Usually they exude class and I’m glad that this theatre was rescued and renovated. The inside of the theatre was very nice with a full bar in the back which seemed to contain a well-rounded array of alcohol, if you’re into that kind of thing (I don’t drink so I had a Sprite). The Sprite was $3.75 which didn’t seem too expensive and, unlike in other venues of late, I was given my drink in a plastic cup. The Roxian also has a snack bar that sold my favorite snack of all time, popcorn! As well as hot pretzels and, presumably, other snacks. The merchandise table was also located in a good spot at the back of the venue where it was easy to find and easy to access. The acoustics were decent although I had trouble sometimes hearing the vocals clearly of the opening act and the Mountain Goats.

All around a pretty nice venue.

My one big beef? Parking. I got there around 7:30 p.m. about a half an hour after the doors opened. And, as I feared, there was absolutely no parking anywhere around the venue. On the website the Roxian said it had parking behind the theatre, so I ventured behind the theatre and located parking. They were charging $30.00!! to park. I had the money, so I reluctantly parted with it, but I think that amount is pretty excessive. I could see charging $10 or even $15 but $30 for a parking lot in McKees Rocks? Not a fan. Lack of parking has always been a pet peeve of mine because as a woman small in stature I’m always worried about my safety no matter where the venue is located and I don’t want to walk alone for miles just to see a show. Would this be a deal breaker for me, probably not depending on the concert, but it might be for someone else considering that t-shirts are now $40.00 and records are $35.00.

Lilly Hiatt Photo by Jonathan David Sabin

Okay so now that I have that out of my system, let’s talk about the music. The opening act was Lilly Hiatt. I had never heard of her so I “Googled” her to see what I could find out. There wasn’t much out there about her. I enjoyed her music though, it was rock with a touch of country—she is based in Nashville. She had a nice powerful voice, a pretty tight band, and, although I could ‘t see the band, one of her band members played a wicked electric guitar. I enjoyed her set and I will probably see where I can get her latest “album.” Lately my focus has been on buying female centered music because we females need all the support that we can get.

I can’t remember when or how I first hear about the Mountain Goats. Was it from WYEP? Did I read about them at I can’t recall, but I’ve been a fan for at least ten years. The band has a new album that’s out and WYEP has been playing the first single, “Training Montage.” The album is titled “Bleed out” and has a delightfully macabre cover of bloody bodies under sheets. The t-shirts feature this image as well.

So, the music; the band played a lot of the music off this album as well as some old but goodies. I like this band because they sing songs constructed around stories of people who have been wronged, abused, marginalized. And that theme resonates with me. One of the songs was from the perspective of a hit-man/assassin. Another song called “Tidal Wave” from their album “Getting into Knives” released in 2020 was a long, jam of a song with haunted lyrics and wondrous sounds from the electric guitars and synthesizer.

I enjoyed the Mountain Goats the last time I saw them, and I enjoyed the concert last night as well. I like bands who tell a story with their music and who are also good musicians. The Mountain Goats fulfill all of those requirements.

As a side note, there were a lot of queers in attendance last night (including me of course). That was nice to see. People holding hands, holding each other, blatantly, in public. Maybe things are slowly changing.

The Mountain Goats released their 20th album last month and came to Pittsburgh last week on their tour. The album is Bleed Out – available on their website.


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