Friday, February 1, 2013

We Took Command Of The First Avenue Stage

October 29, 2011 - First Avenue - Minneapolis, MN

I hope you enjoyed my last recap of note interpretation, because this is going to be another of the same.

We arrived in Minneapolis rather stupidly early. Spent some time hanging out in a Starbucks near the venue. We got in line at the right time to hear sound check and thus got to hear them trying out the new John and John arrangement of How Can I Sing Like A Girl? that they debuted at this show. Also met another couple standing in line who recognized me from past recaps. Though, we didn't know what he was doing at the time, Flans walked past us while filming the video, shown below, of him searching for their name on the wall outside the venue. I liked his coat. It looked warm.

We also witnessed the bizarre sight of a bicycle bar rolling down the street. This was literally a bar complete with counter, barstools and bartender, where the patrons were pedaling bicycle pedals while they drank to propel the entire apparatus forward. Apparently the bartender steers. It ranks up there among the strangest things I have ever seen.

Once inside First Avenue, Gary and I chose to go to the left of the stage for a change of scene, while Rebecca went right. The stage was absurdly high. Pretty much at the level of my face. It meant an entire show of craning my neck and, though I don't really remember this, I think I must have had nearly no view of Linnell over the keyboard based on my pictures.

The TMBG setlist: Can't Keep Johnny Down - Celebration - Minneapolis - Snail Shell - Fingertips - Why Does The Sun Really Shine? - Clap Your Hands - Birdhouse In Your Soul - The Guitar - Ana Ng - Battle For The Planet of the Apes - Dead - Don't Let's Start - Damn Good Times - You Probably Get That A Lot - Spoiler Alert - Cloisonné - Alphabet Of Nations - Particle Man Careful What You Pack - The Mesopotamians  Encore - How Can I Sing Like A Girl - Marty Beller Mask - When Will You Die  Encore 2 - Istanbul - We're The Replacements

One thing before I start going through my notes. They didn't play the First Avenue venue song right away, and I was briefly terrified they weren't going to play it at all. Hearing that song live was one of my primary motivations for the trip and I would have been pretty devastated if they hadn't played it. But they did and everything was okay.

Album growing up hair blue eyes
This was a reference to discussion of the release of Album Raises New And Troubling Questions and the fact that it was a companion album to Join Us. They joked that Join Us was growing up so fast now that it had a little companion album and that it was growing hair and you could tell it was going to have blue eyes, like a baby. My description of this doesn't really do it justice because the way the Johns presented it was very amusing.

First avenue gave it away
After talking about how the First Avenue venue song was the very first venue song they had written, Linnell said the name of the song and then lamented that he "gave it away." Not sure why it was supposed to be a surprise.

Goodnight after fingertips all warmed up now
After playing Fingertips, Flans jokingly said good night as if the show was over. And then said that they were all warmed up now for the rest of the show.

Soft is the new loud
Not a clue what this was a reference to.

TMBG 10/29/11 #4

Scott does this hurt your eyes
Flans was dividing the crowd for the ape battle and pointed the light right at Scott at the sound board at the back and then asked Scott if it was hurting his eyes.

Flashlight shining on the band
Flans also shown the flashlight on the members of the band effectively blinding them as well. He is lethal with that thing.

Dan done with the guitars no more twang twang
This was a continuation of the joke from the previous night about Dan being done with guitars when he moved to the keyboard for You Probably Get That A Lot. Flans added the line "No more twang, twang" to his riff, though he didn't take the joke quite as far as he had the previous night.

TMBG 10/29/11 #9

Blue party album
The Avatars claimed that they were working on a party album which was going to be blue with lots of swears.

Meg Ryan drum circle 
Meg Ryan was appearing fresh from Occupy Wall Street. Blue asked her how she had liked the drum circles and she said she hadn't liked them at all. She preferred the music of the Avatars.

1% need to buy new album
This was another reference to the Occupy Wall Street one percent though I can't exactly remember why they needed to buy the new album. I think maybe Flans had deemed a portion of the crowd to be the 1% and was telling them that they needed to buy it, but I am just not sure.

Pj moneybags
Not a clue. But the name is funny. 

Companion album
They talked a lot about Album Raises New And Troubling Questions since it was new. 

Poster what are you looking at
Build house out of poster
Flans brought out one of the six foot posters and was extolling its virtues. I can't remember what the "what are you looking at" part was about, but he did suggest that you could build a house out of your six foot poster.

Printing out hearse 3500% tiling
Flans explained that you could build your very own paper monster hearse as seen in the When Will You Die video by printing out the PDF that came with the new companion album at 3500% and setting your printer to tiling. I can not possibly imagine that this would actually work.

Sitting on porch
When Flans sat on the drum riser for Cloisonné, he said he felt like he was sitting on the porch.

TMBG 10/29/11 #15

Bass clarinet last time you'll see it until their next tour
Just one more in a series of jokes about the rarity of the bass clarinet in a rock concert.

Anthropomorphizing the bass clarinet
I do not remember why they were anthropomorphizing the bass clarinet, but I remember it took them a while to come up with the word "anthropomorphize". 

Hello mr microphone
This was a joke Linnell made after this discussion of anthropomorphizing the clarinet, as he decided to anthropomorphize other things and addressed his microphone as "Mr. Microphone."

Johnny was yelling
Linnell altered the lyrics at the beginning of Minneapolis to "Johnny was yelling at Marty and Dan. John threw stuff at Dan."

Flans sitting on the floor
Fairly early in the show, Flans sat right down on stage to adjust some of the settings on his pedals and tune his guitar. It was pretty adorable to see him plopped down cross-legged, I must say.

TMBG 10/29/11 #3

Fake Istanbul ending into Replacements
They ran the fake ending of Istanbul right into the beginning of We're The Replacements, rather than doing another ending on Istanbul. It was both clever and unexpected and I quite enjoyed it.

Halloween song
This was how they referred to Marty Beller Mask when they were introducing it for its premiere performance. I remember sending my friend Megan a text that said "Brace yourself. They are about to play Marty Beller Mask live." I was pretty darn excited myself. Linnell read the lyrics off of his iPhone and had his glasses on to do so. It is a song that lends itself to being played live really well.

TMBG 10/29/11 #18

When I say all ages you say bull shit
A chant that Flans tried to get us to do extolling the virtues of the 14+ show.

After the show we hung around for and while and watching the venue turn into a Halloween themed dance club. Lots of people in crazy costumes. It was quite an odd transition. Rebecca also got Dan to sign something for her while some of the guys were hanging out off on the side of the room packing up. Outside we went seeking the band's star on the wall too, before heading back to the hotel. We dropped Rebecca off at the airport to fly home the next morning, while Gary and I continued on to Iowa City, site of the baloney sandwich incident :-) Details of that story coming soon.

TMBG 10/29/11 #20

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