Shows/2015-09-27

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User:Zondry:

So at around 1:20 PM I arrive at the venue to reunite with my awesome band TMBG, complete with a fun 2 hour commute from Long Island to Brooklyn without any trouble via the LIRR and from the (2) to the (L) train. After a nice visit to the Meatball Shop I returned to the venue and Vvedge was nice enough to save my spot in line! Thanks a lot Vvedge!

Doors opened at exactly 7 PM and everyone got in almost right away. Got a front row spot right in front of the keyboard.

Staring at the empty stage, I noticed something too, Flansburgh had 2 Telecasters on stage (one old and maple and his usual sonic blue one). Why? Is one guitar just going to be on stage in case of technical problems? Well, perhaps that may be why it was just idling there throughout the whole show but it was worth it anyway. I also saw that there was only one music stand for only one horn player even though I thought that there was going to be all 3 of them. I got myself into a bit of surprise at one point since I've encountered some unexpected moments at a TMBG concert that you are surprised to see. I also saw that Linnell's bass clarinet and soprano clarinet was also on stage. Perhaps he was going to use those for If I Wasn't Shy, She's Actual Size, Cowtown, others

5 minutes over the expected beginnning time, the intro music played and they pogoed right away into I Palindrome I. Nice to hear that one again. Flansy sang the backups during the "See the spring...." verse. After Music Jail and Answer, Flansy introduced themselves and sure enough they have announced that the show was an Apollo 18 themed show. The show also said that there was also going to be songs from Dial A Song Direct but there was really 2 from Dial A Song and 3 from the new album Glean. When asked about how their summer went, Flansy said that they had a great summer. I belted out "WHAT DID YOU DO??" and he responded that he claimed that they all went to have a nice vacation in Niagara Falls (It was a joke, seriously), and then asked me if I was online throughout those days. I responded with "Perhpas, yes". Best banter ever.

During My Evil Twin, most of the song sounded similar to the studio version except when Linnell sang "My Twin", he used the wrong patch on his keyboard, using the organ patch instead of synth accordion. Unusual compensation of instruments. It sounded great regardless.

Another song I didn't expect: Pencil Rain. When Flans started playing the solo, he didn't do the scratch like in the studio, as well as keeping the crescendo that is puncuated on "roar" and "thunderous clatter" in the last verse.

During Hypnotist of Ladies, awesome guitar and percussion work. Flansburgh did a pretty good job on the solo near the end.

John Linnell was introducing the next song but he said he forogot what it was called. I yelled out "MAMMAL!" and he asked me if I was giving him the setlist but then he immediately glanced over at a fan who was holding up the vinyl record of A18. It was nice hearing Mammal again, which sounded completely different than the studio version.

Dan Miller joined in at the end of Dinner Bell to play the solo and solo outro.

Two more unexpected gems: Shadow Government, excellent song from The Else they haven't played in a while. Energic. Rockin'.

For BFTPOTA, Flansburgh used his arms to help divide the audience in half and we did our usual chants and fist raising like they have done since 2011. First performance since the Nanobots tour. When the "Apes" were given instructions to chant, Flans suspected the Apes will win the battle this time, but the "People" wound up winning the battle even though the "Apes" were being cheaters.

After the usual cover of Destiny Child's "Bills Bills Bills", Flansburgh introduced Stan Harrison on the saxophone so that he can accompany Istanbul. He played a fabulously awesome sax solo intro to the full band version of the song as well as a solo outro. Rare moment to ever experience at a TMBG show.

During "The Guitar", Stan played the trumpet intro lick on his sax and it was very unusual. He played all the trumpet lines throughout the song so that the band wouldn't get thrown off by their missing horn cues. Usual Bass solo from Weinkauf as well. I chanted "The bass, the bass, the bass if Danny Weinkauf" throughout the solo.

As for We Want A Rock, another note I'd want to point out is that they have performed 1/5 of Flood with 2 rarely performed songs. Nice to hear that one again. After Johnny, Stan returned to the play the clarinet for the last 2 songs in the first set. He even introduced Linnell on the clarinet for the next song. Many people thought they needed to play Cowtown for the next number but it wasn't really. The next song was really an A18 song: If I Wasn't Shy. Flansy played the intro/outro riff in the song and once he started singing, Dan Miller encountered trouble with his guitar, he started playing but his guitar wasn't working so he unplugged the cable and got the other guitar on stage and continued to have problems, it took him several seconds until the 2nd verse (from "I'd steal somebody's...") to get his guitar working. Seems to be his guitars are considerably temperamental these days but oh well. Also Flansburgh swtiched the words between "time clock cards" and "intercoms" but did "uniforms" and "Ask Me Buttons" in the right order, respectively.

After an announcement of a 20 minute break, the dueling clarinets continued for the expected song: Cowtown. After the first chorus, Linnell seemed confused whether he should either keyboard or clarinet. He only played his clarinet for the first verse and first solo and then switched to keyboard for the rest of it. I think he seemed a bit confused due to the absence of Curt's missing trumpet cue.

After Stompy->Spider, 2 songs from the first album of which one of them I was surprised to hear: Rhythm Section Want Ad, with a nice slow mo jazzy feel solo section in the middle.

After #3 and Letterbox, Stan returned to stage for Which Describes How You're Feeling, it sounded great and Flans was just idling throughout most of the song so that he could harmonize during "It-de-scribes-how-you're-feel-ing" line as well as the final stanza. Dig My Grave had an extended outro with Stan doing the string parts, lots of strobe lighting too.

Returning to the dueling woodwinds, Linnell brought back the bass clarinet for this song to enhance a totally awesome performance of She's Actual Size. Dan Miller used a special effect on his guitar to sound like a trombone due to the absence of the other horns. Seems like TMBG is pretty good at doing alternate arrangements as compensation. There was also a 1 minute Marty Beller drum solo in the middle. The song was also slowed down during the last 2 verses. How very woodwind heavy the show was courtesy of Stan.

The last 6 songs incorporated the accordion, and my first thought was "Oh no! They need to do Turn Around, See the Constellation, Space Suit, and the statue got me high". They did Turn Around without a 2nd guitar required, a excellent Halloween-y song. For See The Constellation, some of us did yell the "123444" like it does in the album but really shouted "Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!" because it sounded an awful lot like it.

Flansburgh introduced Space Suit as one of their oldest songs in their repertoire and they didn't start the song until someone in the audience yelled something. They nailed that song pretty well with that lack of the kaoss pad, and surprisingly they weren't thrown off this time.

After Good To Be Alive, they began to play Narrow Your Eyes with Linnell still playing accordion to make it sound like the studio version. Surprising. They finally ended with a great The Statue Got Me High. Rare performance indeed.

Linnell again breaks out the bass clarinet for a cover of Jonathan Richman's "I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar" with only the Johns and Marty onstage. This followed into their usual Robot Parade so that the rest of the band can join in the first encore.

After Mesopotamians and Birdhouse (with the absence of the sax), they return to an A18 song that was missing: Fingertips. Good ending song.

Afterwards, I even managed to get another one of Marty's drumsticks and even his autograph!! I also took the setlist off the keyboard and gave it to a fan next to me. What an awesome night it was. See you guys on New Year's Eve!!