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The Mountain Goats‘ John Darnielle loves to tell stories to his audience. Playing in support of Merge Records’ reissue of the band’s seminal All Hail West Texas, the band kicked off its tour last night at the 9:30 Club, but it was part concert, part campfire tale: Darnielle and bassist Peter Hughes told more than an hour of stories to the sold-out house. Throughout their show as well as the opening set, an ASL interpreter at stage right signed every song. (The 9:30 Club provides the service upon request.)

The audience was a mixture of dads and their tweens, under-agers, and a few in between, all thrilled to hear what inspired songs like “Ox Baker Triumphant” (Baker was an old-school wrestler) and “Alpha Chum Gatherer,” an outtake from 2002’s Tallahassee.

Darnielle and Hughes’ old friends Baptist Generals opened and managed to please—-despite their exhaustion after a 20-hour drive straight from Denton, Texas.

See photos from both sets in the gallery.