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Fan Recaps and Comments:

Review by Redheadedsnippet:

This was my first show in far too long, for both me and my cousin. We were stoked about seeing them at the House of Blues-- the last time we caught a Boston show it was at Berklee, which was all about imposing rules on both TMBG and their fans. So.

My memory for banter is not as keen as it once was. I must be getting old. I apologize for any gaps or terribly funny things that I have forgotten entirely.

At the beginning, both Johns commented on the energy of crowd. "From up here, it's just a sea of smiles." A sea to which the cousin and I were certainly contributing.

Linnell explained how the show worked: that instead of having an opening act, they'd be playing two full sets. "We're sort of our own opening act. It's a great deal for us because it's like we're paying ourselves."

Flans commented on the venue.

JF: We grew up in Lincoln, just outside of Boston--

crowd: *cheers*

JF: So we came here for shows in our teen years. I remember getting the spins for the very first time standing right over there. I hope someone else gets to experience that for themselves tonight. *pause* Maybe it'll be me.

I can't describe how stoked I was about the cover of Bills, Bills, Bills. The whole crowd was singing along, and I have to say both Linnell and Flans seemed really into it. As they should be. As should we all.

During Older, Linnell took a phonecall from Robert Durst. "I've got a request. Play some old songs. Once you guys went major label I kind of fell off. You lost your indie cred." He also requested that if they played Particle Man, we all should picture him as Triangle Man.

I couldn't help but notice that after Robert Durst's request, they went straight on to Madam, I Challenge You To a Duel (nor did they ever play Particle Man). I almost felt bad that I didn't have the words down to the Glean songs yet. I have way less free time than the last time I was at a show. Still, I really think that song for song, Glean is their best yet. Which is damn impressive, considering the back catalog these guys have.

I was excited to see Number 3 performed, as it was one I hadn't seen before. At the end I restrained myself from shouting "Now do it in Greek!"

The rest of the crowd was far less shy than I was, and shouted out things frequently during the course of the show. Maybe I'm not quite used to the Boston crowd yet, but I found it kind of rude. Maybe the people around me happened to be particularly vocal. Though I've forgotten the context (I think the Johns were fake-apologizing about something?), I vividly recall a loudmouth behind me shouting out "I drove all the way from Philadelphia for THIS SHIT!" And I wanted very badly to turn around and suggest politely that she not refer to the band as "shit" in the middle of the show. But I don't like causing scenes.

Speaking of scenes, I was jamming along to Why Does the Sun Shine when right before my eyes, some drunk guy just casually walked up on the stage, right in front of Linnell's keyboard. I was still gaping in shock, when --WHAM!-- Danny Weinkauf came running out of nowhere and SHOVED the guy right off the stage! I do not think I have ever witnessed a move of more stone-cold badassery at any other show.

I tried to turn my attention back to the stage, so I looked back to my left, where I saw a tech wrestling with a drunk woman who had also climbed up on the stage.

Incredibly, all of this happened without a single one of them missing a beat, though Flans did stall out during the "everything is a gas" portion moments later. After a very long pause:

JF: ....uh, I don't know, John, what's a gas on the sun?

JL: The guy who walked on the stage.

JF: The guy who walked on the stage is like a total gas on the sun, ladies and gentlemen.

Danny later came back over to the stage and apologized to the people standing in the section where he'd shoved the drunk guy offstage. A class act!

After the song, Flans had a talk with us. "We want to clarify a few things. We love you all. But it is a love that's conditional, and it ends-- *extends his arm to the edge of the stage* --right about HERE. And if you cross that barrier, it will be a love that you will never know."

Somewhere during the show, the Johns commented appreciatively on how the crowd only had normal-sized cameras and phones.

JF: Usually there's some guy in the front row holding up a huge tablet, and you can see all the people behind them like *cranes head and makes disappointed face*

At some point Flans started to talk about his stint living in Allston in his earlier years. He'd worked at a record store called Strawberry Records, "the least cool record store ever," where he was forced to wear "humiliating" red vests. "It was like High Fidelity, but without the jokes." He also mentioned living on Nixon Street. "Later renamed-- I think they should change it back. I have respect for old crooks."

After the show, Flans came back out to distribute Dial-a-Song stickers. I got one, which is on the back of my laptop as I type this. But my cousin was the lucky one. Marty Beller (whom I noticed was getting a LOT of love from the crowd, deservedly) came out and handed a drumstick straight to her! I convinced her to get him to sign it, which he kindly did.

A great show with a strong setlist-- gosh, two first album songs I'd never seen live! And though I really hope to never see drunk assholes climbing the stage again, They were total pros about it and I am duly impressed.

Review by Eee:

This show was fantastic, and the above review captures so many of the highlights. Thank you! I just have a few things to add.

  • When Flans commented on the venue, he acknowledged that it was formerly called Avalon. My husband and I were psyched when he said this because we had actually seen them there when it was still Avalon.
  • Speaking of the crowd shouting out things, I also remember one woman yelling, "Just play Cowtown, dammit!"
  • When Flans talked about living in Allston, he also told the story about how a stranger put a full-size Persian rug in with his laundry at the public laundromat.
  • Towards the end of Alphabet of Nations (or maybe just after it ended), Flans admitted he forgot to sing the "West" in "West Xylophone".