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Fan Recaps and Comments:

Review by Benjamin Stewart:
So I just got back from the first of the three TMBG concerts I'm going to, and boy are my ears ringing. And that's mainly because I ended up standing pretty much in front of the left speakers. The Great American Music Hall was much smaller venue than either the Fillmore or the Warfield, and the people standing in front could literally reach out and touch John or John if they moved too close to the edge of the stage. Tomorrow night my goal is to leave a little earlier and take up position front and center (or possibly a little right of center so I can peak at Linnell's copy of the set list (thus making my job much easier)).

The first opener was Amy Miles, and she was alright. I wouldn't go out of my way to listen to her again, but she was acceptable for the mere 20 minutes or so she played. I overheard someone behind me comparing her to Noe Venable (who opened for TMBG last July) and declaring that Amy was "much better." I'm not really going to take sides, though, because I didn't fall in love with either of them and neither of them made my ears bleed.

"Did you ever make out to TMBG... back in the day? I did." "What song?" "I'm not going to tell you that... that's too personal." -- Amy Miles / guy shouting from the audience / Amy Miles

The reason Amy only played for 20 minutes is because the second opening band was Sapphire Bullets. Sapphire Bullets (the only TMBG cover band that matters) is what TMBG calls themselves when they open for themselves, and they play all of Flood straight through. They have fake names and make a whole little act of being just a TMBG cover band. "We've dedicated our careers to this album." There was a lot of funny banter by the band, most of which I'm not even going to try to remember. They made several jokes about BNL, claiming they were working on a BNL set, and that [some song] was influenced by BNL.

After Twisting, something on "Corey's" drums "wore out," and the band left the stage for about five minutes while the roadies mucked around. Before they left the stage, the audience was shouting that Dan should come out to replace Corey, and Jared (Linnell) started talking about TMBG's ego, and how TMBG didn't want to even see the opening band. And so on.

Anyway, that was very cool. Highlights for me were Birdhouse, Dead, We Want a Rock, Someone Keeps Moving My Chair, and Road Movie to Berlin. In particular, I really liked Road Movie because they sang the King of Liars verse which isn't on the album. Everyone who was singing along immediately had to stop because they had no idea what was going on, but I didn't miss a beat because I know (and really like) that verse. I was disappointed in Whistling in the Dark, however, but that's probably because it didn't (and probably can't) live up to the way they opened the show with it the first time I saw TMBG.

For some reason tonight, I decided to take notes on paper again instead of on my Palm, and while that was good for just the set list (the light was good), it was hard to take notes on the banter. Also, it didn't seem like there wasn't actually much banter during the main set. It kind of felt like they were in a hurry. Or maybe they were just really tired from playing two sets. Anyway, point is I didn't get a lot of quotes from the main set:

after Destination Moon: "I feel great. That's not actually true, but I have to say that." — linnell

Dinner Bell - Flans doing the German part here was pretty amusing.

In the Middle - Flans talked about how the song had subtexts which he was going to convey by making intense eye contact with the audience... then he talked about how he was at a Springsteen concert that was all contact.

Clap Your Hands - after jump in the air, there were directions to shout, and then mumble.

The Guitar - thankfully this wasn't a seven minute improv/jam version.

Spin the Dial - nothing I really recognized or that stood out.

Au Contraire - there was a lot of introduction about how the song has french lyrics, but they're not french, they're freedom, or it's not french, it's french canadian... It was kind of funny, but there was way too much of it to even hope to recount.

The Sun - Everything on it is a gas, including: Neon. Aztec. The nuclear reactions between Oakland, Big Sur, San Francisco, and Berkeley.

"Tomorrow night we're going to play every song off of Apollo 18 that we know how to play... which is like, all but 2 of them." — flansburgh

Hey Hey We're the Monkees - oh, this was awesome.

So, tomorrow night will be Apollo 18 themed. Presumably they'll play the four Apollo 18 tracks they played tonight (Hypnotist, Dinner Bell, The Guitar, and Fingertips) again, but that sucks, because that means I have to hear The Guitar yet again. But, things to look forward to: Turn Around, Spider, Narrow Your Eyes, Dig my Grave, Palindrome, and Statue. And I predict that the two they won't play are My Evil Twin and Hall of Heads, based on... I don't know. I know for sure at least 2/3rds of the album that they've played before, and the others don't seem too hard. I guess it's an educated guess.

Ugh, I need to sleep now. My head hurts. And I have to do this again tomorrow night. And the next night.