Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Happy New Year

December 31, 2012 - Music Hall Of Williamsburg - Brooklyn, NY

Cold, cold, cold. That is my primary memory of waiting for this show. Something like 9 hours waiting outside on the sidewalks of Brooklyn in slightly sub-freezing temperatures. I don't recommend it.

The conclusion of the band parking saga was both funny and sad. Jim managed to commandeer a cone which he used to reserve a parking space for which ever member of the band happened to get there first. But first someone stole the space. And then after a new space was acquired, not a single one of the driving members of the band realized that the spot was available for parking in and all passed it by. It was an excellent, though failed effort to be helpful.

This was another example of a show where things going wrong really affected my enjoyment of the show. It was two fold. When they let us in, they let the beginning of the line in but stopped them at the bar. Meanwhile, they opened the door directly to the stage just behind me and let the people behind me in that way. As a result the front of the line got into the venue after a good chunk of the people who had been behind them. Some serious arguments ensued between fans and while I benefited once again from friends saving me a spot, it was a rather ugly way to start. Making things worse, an extremely drunk man began causing trouble in the midst of our crowd on the left side of the stage and was so offensive I eventually had to go get security to deal with him.

The other problem was entirely my own and pretty stupid. I had needed to go to the bathroom when we went in, but due to all the arguments regarding the line, I was too afraid to leave my spot to use the facilities lest it not be there when I returned. As a result, by the end of the show, I was in so much pain that I could barely stand up straight and was just wishing the show would wrap up. It may be the only time I have ever wished a show would end rather than wishing it would continue. Apologies if that was a little TMI, but it was one of the primary reasons my memories of this show are a bit less than ideal.

The opener for this show was Moon Hooch, a trio of young men with a powerful sound. Two saxophones and a drummer playing dubstep, a genre I was previously unfamiliar with. I was very impressed. It was lively and dancey and their time went by surprisingly quickly. They even wrapped up early and were given the go ahead to play for five more minutes. These are the guys that are opening for most of the spring tour and I am looking forward to seeing them again. I have been pretty lucky with my repeat openers I must say. I bought their CD after the show and was entertained to find one of the saxophonists chomping on a crown of raw broccoli at the merch table.


TMBG setlist: Older - The Guitar - When Will You Die - Celebration - Why Does The Sun Shine? - The Mesopotamians - Circular Karate Chop - Hey, Mr. DJ - Call You Mom - Doctor Worm - Birdhouse In Your Soul - Withered Hope - Auld Lang Syne - Nanobots - Damn Good Times - James K. Polk - Insect Hospital - He's Loco - Ana Ng - Battle For The Planet Of The Apes - We Live In A Dump - Dr. Evil - 123 Band Intro - Mr. Me Encore - New York City - Istanbul - Whistling In The Dark Encore 2 - Cloisonné - Where Your Eyes Don't Go

Prior to the show starting, the audience was bouncing large white balloons around in the air. A couple of times they bounced onto the stage and the crew bounced them back into the crowd. I was worried that one was going to bounce into and knock over the bass clarinet, but fortunately, it never happened. The one time I tried to bounce a balloon back off the stage, I accidentally bounced it further on to the stage and I avoided any contact with them after that. They continued to bounce about even once the show started and several of the guys had to bop them back into the crowd. Until eventually, Linnell picked one up and put it at the back of the stage out of reach. I would assume they were a bit distracting from the band's perspective.

I thought Older was the perfect start to a New Year's Eve show. The strategy seemed to be to pack as many big rockers in as they could fit before the clock struck twelve.

Pretty much the first thing I noticed when the band hit the stage, were the insane pants Danny was wearing. Loud, yellow and brown plaid pants that were so ugly they were awesome. Pretty sure he is the only man alive who could make those pants look good. On anyone else, they would only be suitable for a golf course or pajamas. He manages to make anything into rock star style. Near the end of the show I caught his eye and said "nice pants." He just laughed at me.

TMBG 12/31/12 #2

The nuclear reactions of the sun were caused by "progesterone, the Pontiac Aztec, the all-new Ford Taurus and many others." Flans took a long pause before saying Pontiac Aztec. After the song, Linnell said it almost didn't matter what the other things were after progesterone. Flans explained that he was trying to remember whether the Aztec was made by the Pontiac or a sub-division of Chrysler. Linnell reminded him that it was a new year and they has promised "no fuck ups." Flans agreed and said he didn't want to be the first one in the penalty box. He also made a reference to Pontiac being the car your mother gave you. Then Linnell pointed out that it wasn't actually the new year yet and they were still free to fuck-up.

TMBG 12/31/12 #6

As they got closer to midnight, Flans attempted to find a clock on his phone that had seconds so they could count down. He eventually gave up and asked a member of the audience to find the atomic time and let him know when they were close. When they were within minutes of midnight and Flans gave the go ahead to start Withered Hope, he made me extremely nervous that they were going to miss midnight entirely. But he had it well timed and they finished with near perfect timing to begin the countdown.

They had the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne displayed on the video screen for the audience to sing along, but fairly shortly into the song it got a slide ahead and we could no longer follow along. They attempted to do the second verse, but by that point the lyrics were too out of sync and no one new that verse so they gave up. Robin came out with a champagne bottle and poured champagne into plastic cups for the boys. Flans also poured a cup and handed it to my friend, Kathy, standing next to me. Eventually, the rest of the bottle was brought back to the crew back stage. A while later Danny went back looking for it only to find it empty. Happy New Year, everybody!

TMBG 12/31/12 #11

Many of the fans, including most of my crew, had noisemakers to blow at midnight. There was a point later on when Flans asked us to pull them all out again. During Planet of the Apes maybe? I'm not really sure. I just remember being instructed to blow them.


A few songs into the new year, Linnell commented that the new Mayan baktun was way better than the last Mayan baktun. "Those are 492 years I just want to forget."

TMBG 12/31/12 #21

The ape battle was a tie despite Flans desire to start the year off with lots of negative energy. He did admit that it was fixed, and that while they knew who the real winner was, they would never tell.

TMBG 12/31/12 #12

When Robin came out to do Dr. Evil, she announced that she was making a New Year's revolution instead of a resolution.

Before Cloisonné, Flans said this was probably the last time bass clarinet would ever be heard at the Music Hall. Linnell pointed out that he thought the opening band had had one. They didn't that they actually played, but they had some instruments on stage that they didn't use so it wouldn't surprise me if they had actually brought one.


After the show, I had a minor adventure getting my car out of my parking space, as I had very nearly been completely blocked in. It took many small shifts forward and backward with Kathy and a kind stranger spotting me to get unstuck. And then I drove all the way home to Massachusetts so I could be at work the next day. Oh, the things I do for this band :-) Well worth it though, even with the issues at this show.

1 comment:

  1. They did play a clarinet. It was a contra-bass one. It's the one that made the dub-step type noises. I only know because Ryan asked them after the show what the one horn was and I heard the answer.