Thursday, March 28, 2013


March 21, 2013 - Tarrytown Music Hall - Tarrytown, NY

I have fond memories of my last visit to Tarrytown for a show in 2009. And it was also nice to finally be close enough to home base to have most of my crew join me at the show again. The fact that this was a seated show meant there wasn't a need to stand in line for hours on end, but it worked out well for me since Pittsburgh to Tarrytown was pretty much my longest between-shows drive of the trip. I still got there several hours early and was intending to go sit in a coffee shop and work on getting caught up on recaps. I ran into Mike and the sound guy from Moon Hooch on my way into the coffee shop and had a nice chat. I recommended the Chinese food restaurant next to the venue for their dinner and they later told me it was delicious :-)

I ended up running into Heather and Jim, who had also arrived early, in the coffee shop and ended up not having to spend solitary hours waiting for the show. We went to get Chinese food ourselves, and I attempted to relive my nerve wracking experience accidentally eating with half the band in that very same restaurant four years earlier, though sadly, none of them joined us on this occasion. We did see Dan heading off to dinner with his family, and you will have to excuse me for pointing out how stinking cute his little girl is again. And she's getting so BIG. That was definitely the cutie patootie moment of my day.

Our seats in the theater were in the middle of the second row. There was much debate over how best to extract ourselves from them, should Flans issue the cattle call to the front, and "up and over" the front row, seemed to be the easiest solution. Unfortunately, for me, the fever portion of my illness hit me very hard during the Moon Hooch set and I wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I otherwise might have. At least that was one benefit of sitting down; I wasn't also trying to stand and hold a stage position while my body was revolting against me. Thankfully, the cold medicine kicked in by the time the Giants went on.

TMBG setlist: Damn Good Times - You're On Fire - Memo To Human Resources - Call You Mom - James K. Polk - Circular Karate Chop - Cloisonné - Puppet Head - Doctor Worm - The Famous Polka - Drink! - Where Your Eyes Don't Go - Insect Hospital - He's Loco - Lost My Mind - Nanobots - Withered Hope - Dr. Evil - Can't Keep Johnny Down - Birdhouse In Your Soul - Why Does The Sun Shine? - 123 Band Intro - When Will You Die Encore - Tesla - Istanbul Encore 2 - Mammal - The Mesopotamians - New York City

Maybe I am just not remembering it, but it seemed like this show had much less banter and just stuck to the music than some of the other shows on this tour. Maybe the seats really put a damper on the chit chat. I'm not sure. Linnell commented on how far away we all were before Call You Mom. And after that song, Flans finally said he couldn't deal with how weird it was to have everyone sitting down and asked us all to stand up and come forward. I did indeed go up and over the front row, and to a spot on the left side. Danny gave me a look when I got up there that I couldn't quite interpret. It was either amusement at my method for reaching the stage, or just a general comment on the chaos Flans had created, but it was amusing no matter what.

Continuing the trend of ending up next to most disruptive fan in the crowd, I ended up next to a very, VERY enthusiastic girl, who went from mildly annoying to down right obnoxious over the course of the show. I can appreciate being excited to see your favorite band as much as anyone, and I can even tolerate the shouted requests and the excited screaming and yelling, but when you are boosting yourself up on stage so your boyfriend can take pictures of you "with" the band, you are taking it a little too far. I'm not even sure she realized just how close she came to getting booted out too, as Brunett was on the move to remove her, when she finally got down.

Danny forgot to participate in the bow after James K. Polk, until he looked around and realized everyone else was down and suddenly dropped. The boys were teasing him about it after. It was amusing.

My friend Amanda got the guitar solo on The Famous Polka. Flans finally solved his problem of losing his guitar pick too, as he has started keeping a couple taped to the back of the head of his guitar for easy access. Very clever Flans.

The Avatars did the bit about Axel Rose being knighted by Dennis Rodman again, but this time the third person was "Kim some guy." I think maybe Flans realized he got the name wrong the day before, but still couldn't remember what the right name was. "Sir Axel Rose, ladies and gentlemen, because, it's like what Jerry Lewis said..." And then there was silence. That was the joke. "It's a lot like what Jerry Lewis said," replied Green. "Think about it. That's a thinker," said Blue. Green started to introduce the song, but Blue interrupted to point out that Axel Rose is a perfectionist and it takes him 10-20 years to complete a song. "Collaborating with him on even a syllable is not only an honor, it's like what Jerry Lewis said."

The Nanobots sound effect sounded really odd to me at both this show and the one the following day. I think I was just at a funny angle on the stage and I could hear Flans himself more than the mic effect, so it lost some of the robotic aspect. Still pretty funny though.

Linnell played the chords to Everybody Conga on the keyboard as he responded to Flans' greeting.

Linnell: "What is it Robot Flansburgh?" *said in rhythm with the chords he was playing*

Flans: "I am no longer to be referred to as Robot Flansburgh."

Linnell: "Oh."

Flans: "Because after a two week long conclave in the back lounge of They Might Be Giants touring vehicle, finally the white smoke has emerged and I am now Pope Robot the First. Infallible. Even in this portion of the show. I need a bouncy, bouncy B, John. I might be infallible but if I don't know what note I'm gonna sing, man, oh man, is this song gonna blow."

Linnell: "It will blow infallible."

Flans: "Yes. I'd like to dedicate this next song to Pope Robot Zero. He will always be in our hearts."

Linnell: "We will always have his fans." *some people in the audience next to me 'woo'd'* "Those people. The people who 'woo'd'"

Robin came out to sing Dr. Evil with no introduction. She had been standing off on the side of the stage with Jon Carter for several songs, singing along, which was cute. She was very stylishly dressed I must say, though mostly obscured by the keyboard from where I was standing. After she finished Marty and Danny played a bass and drum only version of the The Theme from Dallas as exit music for her. Flans seemed very entertained by this, and gave them a shout out for this effort. I thought it sounded pretty cool.

The crowd went kind of nuts for Birdhouse. I mean, they always do, but it seemed like this crowd went a little more nuts than some of the recent ones. It was neat.

Flans actually did the real nuclear reaction of the sun, during Why Does the Sun Shine? At the first show in Columbia, he had had a cheat sheet that said "Hydrogen, Carbon, etc, etc" stuck to his pedal board. I wonder if it was still there?

For the 123 Intro, Linnell played what sounded like a bit of a lovely classical piece. It was more intense piano playing than I am used to from him and I was impressed. Dan played a bit of a song, that I should probably recognize but didn't, but it prompted Linnell to cup his hands over his mouth and "woo" from the back of the stage.

It is a shame, that while Marty was doing his thing during the intro, that the majority of the crowd could not see the performance that Brunett put on, trying to get the drum cam working. He was fiddling with it and cajoling it and talking to it, saying "come on, come on" clearing in a panicked rush to make it work, less Marty turn around for a pose at the end of his solo only to me met with a black screen. And, by god, he got it going just in time. I wanted to give him a big cheer, he looked so relieved. And then when Marty did turn around for his pose, he was entirely too high to have his face visible on the camera, and Brunett was directing him to move lower to be properly visible as he shook his fist at the screen.

The Johns delivered some nicknames to the crowd. The funniest part of this, was that, after the nick names, Flans turned the flashlight on Jim, who had ear plugs in that were attached to plastic chords, and accused him of listening to the radio. Priceless.

The encore seemed a little subdued. After Flans nixed any fake endings on Istanbul, I briefly wondered if they were going to come back for a second at all. But they did, and played Mammal again! Yay! Flans talked about their upcoming tour stops and encouraged people to come to the Huntington show the next day.

And that was about it. I apologize, but I think the fever and illness really dampened my ability to remember details from this one. I was really just trying to concentrate on enjoying it despite feeling like death warmed over.

I didn't take nearly as many photos as I usually do at this one, but those I did are here:

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