Sunday, January 20, 2013

No One Knows My Plan - Your Racist Friend

October 1, 2011 - Berklee Performance Center - Boston, MA - N-Z Show

Setlist: She's An Angel - Subliminal - We Live In A Dump - You Probably Get That A Lot - XTC vs Adam Ant - Upside Down Frown - Take Out The Trash - Particle Man - Your Racist Friend - Clap Your Hands - No One Knows My Plan - Battle for the Planet of the Apes - Withered Hope - Spoiler Alert - When Will You Die - Snail Shell - Dallas - Old Pine Box - Turn Around - S-E-X-X-Y - Whistling In The Dark - We're The Replacements  Encore - Doctor Worm - Istanbul  Encore 2 - Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes - Spy

Round 2! Started on the other side of the venue this time but almost the same spot. The band started She's An Angel with a long introduction that included a drum beat totally different from that in the song. I think it totally faked a lot of people out, including me for a little while, but I figured it out well before the song started. Then, yay Subliminal! Just unfortunate that we were still sitting down. Man, seated shows are a bummer (except kids shows, I don't mind those so much).

Flans informed us that the N-Z show was going to be cooler and that he had been practicing his guitar since the last one. He dedicated We Live in a Dump to all the apartment dwellers in the audience.

Flansburgh before You Probably Get That A Lot: "Dan Miller is now approaching the electric keyboard."

Flansburgh before XTC vs Adam Ant: "Reintroducing Mr. Dan Miller on the electric guitar."

After that one Flans claimed that was all the songs they had between N and Z and bid us good night. "We'd like to thank TicketMaster for just wrecking it." Then he joked that everyone was listening to that prolonged intro to She's An Angel and thinking "I've got an 8:15." He said not to worry, they would get us out on time. When the crowd protested he responded with "All right, by request...Blues in G. Taking it sloooow."

Before Take Out To Trash Flans pointed out to Linnell that he needed a cowbell. This of course resulted in cries of "More cowbell!" from the crowd. Than Flans told us the song started with clapping, "slightly above your head, Mick Jagger style." Marty counted us off, but then the crowd started clapping way to slowly. Flans stopped it and said something about Marty being committed to professionalism and told us it wasn't too late to raise the admission cost so we better get it right. After the song Flans said, "Mr. Marty Beller, everyone. There will be no improvising!" (I thought that was pretty funny, I don't know about anyone else.)

This time around Flans warned us that we were one song away from They Might Be Giants national anthem when he was going to ask us all to stand up. So we spent all of Particle Man poised to spring out of our seats. Only to realize that Flans lied and Your Racist Friend was also before Clap Your Hands as well. Typical :-)

Then we actually got to stand up and clap and stomp, etc, etc. I was kind of wedged in at the end of the stage but it was a pretty good cross stage view never the less. Thank goodness we were standing for No One Knows My Plan. That is definitely a standing song.

Flans gave us instructions for the ape battle. Thank goodness, this time the security gave us no trouble and we were able to battle in peace. Thanks to the fact that I was now on the ape side, I won again!

Excellent rendition of Withered Hope with Curt joining in. Love that song.

After a string of repeated jokes and a lack of fresh material, here are some of my favorite quotes from this Avatar appearance.

Blue Avatar: "Man, this Ethiopian food is slowing me down."

Green Avatar: "I feel really weird. Like I'm made out of yarn or something."

Blue Avatar: "What happened to my ears."

And then later..

Blue Avatar: "I've got a bug on my eye."

Then Flans' hand appeared and attempted to remove said bug from the Avatar's eye, while the Avatar was still facing the camera. It was entirely unsuccessful and completely hilarious. I actually don't know if it was really a big or just a piece of black fuzz or just a gap in the yarn, but regardless, he couldn't get it off and it was still there the next time I saw the puppets a month later.

Blue Avatar: *in response to the bug* "Anybody else here live in a suitcase?"

Green Avatar: "Not nice."

The Avatars claimed to have stolen They Might Be Giants band away with their cash from their corporate sponsorships from Super Sucker Baloney Sandwiches. Which also made an appearance at the end of Spoiler Alert. "Fresh every couple of days!"

Linnell claimed that people on iTunes buy When Will You Die just because they like the title. If that is true, I wonder how they like the song?

Snail Shell was probably the most surprising song I heard at this show. It was one I had only heard twice before and not for several years. It's also one I forget exists a lot so I wasn't thinking of it when I was thinking of "S" songs. But it sounds good live.

Dallas was almost completely in tune. That may not sound so impressive but I have seen some performances of it that were painful. I think the band acknowledged that when Linnell said afterward, "Making it look hard" and Flans said he wished the song were a little shorter.

After Old Pine Box, Flans claimed that all of their rebellious songs were on the N-Z side of their catalog. Then he made some cracks about Curt driving to Boston from Connecticut and how if you weren't careful, they would catch you at the border of Massachusetts and send you home.

They played through Turn Around, S-E-X-X-Y and Whistling in the Dark. Flans started his thank you by saying "What can I say but tax the rich and jail the crooks." Flans pointed out that this was the end of the first leg of the their tour which had four legs. "It's like a dog!" said Linnell. Flans agreed that it was like a dog, itching and scratching and it really wanted to go home. He gave a shout out to all of the crew with a particular thanks to David for putting the light show together at the last minute. He encouraged everyone to buy T-shirts to fund their fossil fuel consumption and then they launched into We're The Replacements.

Probably the best story from this show, occurred during Doctor Worm in the first encore. During the "solo" when Flans and Danny went to the front of the stage to play, someone in the crowd reached up their umbrella from the crowd and hooked it over the neck of Flans' guitar. Flans yanked it out of the person's hand and then preceded to open it on stage and promenade with it back and forth across the back of the stage, before tossing it aside and resuming playing the guitar. But for me, the most remarkable thing about it was that I missed it entirely. Seriously. I was completely oblivious to it until after it had happened and I was trying to figure out what everyone was laughing at. I was all caught up in making sure I had the camera ready to make another attempt at photographing Danny's leap. My companions were incredulous that I could be so oblivious, but I have gone back and watched video of it, and I didn't see a second of it with my own eyes. Talk about being distracted and missing the best part. Sheesh. At least I didn't miss them performing Istanbul. I was paying attention that much.

Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes was another one I know a lot of my friends were very excited about. I might have been had I not been to all the other shows that week where it was performed. Pretty sure that was a hold over from the "damn, what songs can we play without Dan" run.

And finally Spy, complete with both Johns conducting the band and the audience. A humorous and lively way to end leg one of the tour.

Danny came out after the show and passed out Flans' guitar picks to a bunch of us in the front row. Flans must order those things by the case load. I might be confusing this show with another one, but I think this was the show where Victor had tried to give Mr. Brunette instructions about making sure he gave me a setlist but he kind of bungled it and Victor had to come out and do it himself. Or he thought he had bungled it, but he had actually set one aside for me. I am not sure, my memory on it is vague. But there was some minor amount of comedy involved.

And then back home it was. A month of bouncing back and forth between the tour and work at its end. But one more trip to still look forward to before the year was out.

No comments:

Post a Comment