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Setlist: (may be out of order)
- Damn Good Times
- Alphabet Of Nations
- The Mesopotamians
- West Virginia
- What Is A Shooting Star? ("performed" by the Avatars of They)
- Unsupervised, I Hit My Head
- Meet The Elements
- Road Movie To Berlin
- They Might Be Giants
- Sapphire Bullets Of Pure Love
- Women & Men
- Hot Cha
- Whistling In The Dark
- Hearing Aid
- Minimum Wage
- Someone Keeps Moving My Chair
- We Want A Rock
- Particle Man
- Your Racist Friend
- Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
- Lucky Ball & Chain
- Birdhouse In Your Soul
- Theme From Flood
Fan Recaps and Comments:
The Vanishing Dot: This was my 13th TMBG show in 16 years and it ended up being one of my favorites.
The new Largo is a small, old, intimate and somewhat mannered venue that seats maybe 200. It was probably the smallest venue I'd seen them play since my first show at The Troubadour in 1994. The size coupled with the strangely quaint musty smell made it feel like they were playing a junior high assembly at times. For a band like TMBG, who revel in both nostalgia and education, a venue like this works better than you might think.
The first few songs, while great, seemed like a warmup. The sock puppet version of "A Shooting Star is Not a Star" (with the Johns puppeteering at a mic by the side of the stage, which was then shot and broadcast on a drop down screen) was hilarious and one of the coolest things I've ever seen Them do live, which is really saying something.
Before They launched into "Flood," Flans tried to get the lighting guy to light the audience so he could "commune" with us. After several attempts, he half-jokingly said "I'm really not kidding about getting the lights up." He was informed that the lighting guy had taken off and their soundman was now attempting to take over the board. Alas, no lights. "Well, folks, that *would* have been really cool," he added.
I thought "Flood" worked really well backwards, with the more commercial songs being placed at the end, and the performances were very tight and among the best I have ever seen. I've heard "Istanbul" and "Particle Man" at pretty much every TMBG concert I've ever been to, but these were probably the most fiery and fun versions I have ever heard. Dan's intro guitar on "Istanbul" was incredible, and the whole audience really got into it once the song kicked in. In the middle of "Particle Man," Linnell went into his usual minor key version of the song, but he and Flans did a hilarious five minute bit. It started with Linnell imitating Aaron Neville, which led to Flans mentioning Roland Gift (lead singer of Fine Young Cannibals) and Linnell subsequently imitating him, and culminated with Flans going into a bit about how there are no snowmen in Los Angeles.
After "Minimum Wage," Flans realized he'd inadvertently forgotten to switch the order of that song and "Hearing Aid" and gave a quick and funny half-hearted apology to the audience. After "Twisting," Flans invited the entire seated audience to stand up and move up towards the stage. We all remained standing (and dancing) for the rest of the show.
There was another funny moment before one song where a guitar-less Flans said "there's only two ways to stand at a mic without an instrument. One is the Art Garfunkel pose," which he then demonstrated perfectly, back slightly hunched, with his hands on his thighs. "We call this 'quiet dignity.'"
At one point, Flans also commented on "Flood" recently having sold a million copies. "A few years ago, the RIAA--it took them a while, they were too busy suing people--finally informed us that 'Flood' had gone platinum. It's the slowest platinum seller since 'Laugh-In '68.'"
"S-E-X-X-Y" was also great to hear live, as I'm not sure I'd ever heard Them do it.
Best of all, we were treated to two SOLO SONGS: Linnell's "West Virginia" (which I had not seen performed since Linnell's solo "State Songs" tour back in 1999) and Mono Puff's "Unsupervised, I Hit My Head." Talk about a surprise.
The only negative was the very, very rude Largo employee who cursed out a young fan for taking a set list from the stage after the show (a TMBG tradition!) and then ejected him!
I cannot believe how much these guys still rock. They still sound great, They're still funny, They seemingly never age...and They remain my favorite live act on earth.
"Thank you to nobody for opening for us tonight." - Flans
This was a pretty awesome show. I try to see TMBG every time they hit the West Coast and I've done a fairly decent job of making it out since I left college. I don't have much to comment on the particulars since the person in front of me has done a pretty good job of talking you through the finer points of issues much too small to force.
I did want to add three things, though.
First, in light of the Who's incredibly lackluster performance halftime at the Super Bowl, we TMBG fans are phenomenally fortunate to have a favorite band that can still actually belt out every single one of their old tracks.
Second, to the above poster, fans are really not supposed to grab anything off of stage. Different venues have different policies, but this is now the third consecutive show I've attended where someone thought nobody was looking and tried to grab a copy of the set list, only to get chewed out. Relating what was expressed the other two times to the offending patrons of shows I went to, (The GO! Team, and Crowded House) "This is the band's space. They don't want you just running up in here where their instruments are, and if you are, it's my [behind]. If you want something, just ask me for it, don't sneak up here and try to swipe it like a thief."
I don't place any blame on Largo or the Largo employee for that. Sometimes people get away with it, sometimes they don't. Just ask. It's common courtesy.
Last, but not least. Great googly moogly was it cold standing outside! I don't mind the cold, but I absolutely cannot deal with wind. Yeesh!
This was show number 17 for me, and for a number of reasons, good and bad, one of the more memorable shows that I've been to. Because of my horrible memory, I can remember what happened, I just can't remember when it happened. Fortunately we have Vanishing Dot. Who gives what I think is an very accurate recollection of the show. This would have been the best show ever had it not been for the venue staff, which I've written more about in the discussion tab.
Caustic, I've added my thoughts there as well. Thanks for the compliment...and the backup.
This was a great show indeed. Or at least almost great. In fact, only one thing kept it from achieving true greatness. If I may quote The Vanishing Dot: "Before They launched into "Flood," Flans tried to get the lighting guy to light the audience so he could "commune" with us. After several attempts, he half-jokingly said "I'm really not kidding about getting the lights up." He was informed that the lighting guy had taken off and their soundman was now attempting to take over the board. Alas, no lights. "Well, folks, that *would* have been really cool," he added."
That's what they get for not bringing their regular lighting guy. I was also in attendance at the Flood show at Royce Hall back in November. The lights were amazing! In fact in recent years, I have noticed how good the lighting at their shows has gotten. I don't know if anyone was at the HOB show in Anaheim when "The Else" was released, but the lighting was absolutely spectacular! Same thing at the Royce Hall show. The whole "return to flood" bit with the strobes... awesome. Iggy (their light man) really adds another dimension to their show that it sorely lacks without him. Equally as important to the live experience as their sound guy, they should really have Iggy working on every single show!
And just a couple more notes on the show:
- So why does Linnell bring the accordion to the Flood show, and then not play it on "We Want A Rock" and "Lucky Ball and Chain"? He does so on the record, and its right behind him on stage, and yet, he plays the songs on his keys? I'm sure there's a good reason, but it would be better (at least for me) on the accordion.
- The bar at the Largo was woefully mediocre.
- It was great to see them in a venue this small! not to say i don't want em to make money, but this was probably the most intimate gig I've ever seen them do.