Shows/1998-12-30

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Fan Recaps and Comments:

Review by Joey Groah:

Wow. One of the best shows I've ever seen by any band, but this ain't just any band...

Got there just as they were letting people in, went up to coat check, decided to plant ourselves on the second floor. Kids no older than eight mixed with a smaterings of the Bob Dole crowd and a heaping helping of teenagers/college kids.

Man Or Astro-Man? got on stage about 8:40 and rocked out. MOA-M? project old NASA/biology class-type footage onto a screen and satellite dish as they play their space surf-rock while bouncing around like popcorn in a nuclear reactor core. Amid multiple TV and computer screens the four spacemen run around and play guitars really loud. Bottle their energy, slap a buck price tag on it, money in the bank. Highlights include Drako, King of the Dragon Men, dancing in unison, and the bassist setting his helmet on fire and running back and forth across the stage.

About 10ish, TMBG came on to hearty cheers. We were anticipating the horns ('cause mike stands were set up) and Velcroed they came. They opened with Finished With Lies (Dan Miller on keyboard) and kept going with accordion-featuring songs, slapping the horns on for Particle Man. Dan shifted to guitar mode second song and the show rambled on.

The line-up was: Johns, Dan "The Machine" Levine, Dan Hickey, Dan Bassguy, Dan Miller, and Jim O'Connor.

Highlights (I'm too tired to expand): technical difficulties with the bass amp = impov fun. Flans and Linnell going into Saphirre Bullets ("What song doesn't have a bass part?"). After Linnell sang (it's Flans on the album, right?) Flans said something to the effect of "I knew it was going to be good when John turned to me and asked "Do I sing this?" Apparently other stuff went wrong too as Flans mentioned a couple of times, but I couldn't pick 'um out. The horns rocked! Flans ran around sans guitar a lot when Dan Miller was on stage, and even when he wasn't. The first... third(?) of the show had a nice, laid back feel to it. No rush, just fooling around. Played Pet Name in total darkness on stage. Polished, but fun and improvy. The horns! Instead of Apes vs People, we got the Dans (4) vs the Johns (2) vs Jim (1). Due to sheer number, Jim won. Flans let the audience play his guitar, Linnell let them play his keyboard. So cool. Lots of accordiion. TMBG had tons of energy. Horns! Puppet heads! Confetti cannon! Three encores with New York City, a rocking Dr. Worm, Istanbul, Birdhouse, Spy, and NOKMP!

They played until 12:10-12:15ish. Spent the first hour of the last day of 1998 with TMBG. That ain't a bad way to end the year.