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Fan Recaps and Comments:
Great show, as usual. With bonus Hank Green action beforehand!
The first thing Flansburgh did when they arrived onstage was to coax us out of our seats and towards the front of the stage. I don't think security was thrilled, but the rest of us were. I moved fast and got a spot in the front row, just to the left of Linnell's keyboard. This plus the fact that the rest of the convention hall was still brightly lit made for some really good photos, even with a plain old smartphone camera. I may have gone overboard with the picture-taking this time around.
Particle Man included an extra verse:
No one knows why triangles are always stronger than particles
No one knows whyyyyyyyyy
They have a fight
Linnell wore glasses, and Danny was sporting them for a few early songs, too. Linnell mentioned that "more of us than usual are wearing our glasses today. We wanted to look smarter."
A disconcerting thing I noticed early in is that they frequently projected images of the audience on the big screen behind them. More disconcertingly, I turned out to be standing directly in front of the audience-facing camera. I kept catching glimpses of my own beaming face out of the corner of my eye. And I'm visible in several of my own concert photos. It's...it's weird.
They introduced A Shooting Star Is Not a Star by saying it was a song that had been an early inspiration to them. Flans also referred to Science is Real as "perhaps our most controversial song." The proof is with science, the truth is with science.
Robin came out-- to the strains of Eye of the Tiger-- to sing Electric Car! I'd heard via social media that she'd be making an appearance. This was my first Robin sighting in all my years of being a fan, so I was thrilled, and would like to state for the record that she wore a sweater, quite possibly knitted by herself, that was festooned with sequin-eyed kittens.
Flans: Robin, I'm glad you wore your, uh, your Eye of the Tiger sweater to the show.
Robin: Thank you for noticing.
Flans: It's a beautiful sweater.
Robin: Every kitten has two eyeballs. It's science.
Flans: So many eyes.
She had some initial issues with her mic needing a new battery, but Flans kept us entertained with banter as others scrambled offstage for a new battery pack. (I actually heard Linnell say, "Talk more, she needs a new battery.")
During this Flans re-introduced her as "the Al Gore of music," and added that "if anybody here is the president of Tesla, we'd love to talk to you after the show. This is the thing about science, people, and that's that you need fresh batteries all the time. And who knows that better than our future corporate sponsor, Tesla Motors?"
Fresh batteries installed, the song went off flawlessly. Robin did some really excellent dancing during the bridge, and also mimed driving pretty charmingly. (One can see why Flans became Mr. Robin Goldwasser.) She turned her head away at one point, and Linnell shouted "Eyes on the road!"
Flans announced that their next song was about funding for scientific research, and they went into Minimum Wage. (BURN.)
Before Mammal, Linnell said he needed to clear up something he'd said about the song at a previous concert.
Linnell: I had said that the song was about Eutheria, but that is not the complete category that this song covers. It only refers to placental mammals...I don't see anyone writing this down. Placental mammals are called Eutheria.
Flans: I care if you make mistakes, John.
Linnell: I'm ashamed of having said that. But we want to redress that. This song is about ALL the mammals. Not just the placentals. The monotremes--
Flans: Let's hear it for all the mammals, people!
Flans: Let's keep it going for the mammals! Name 'em off, John!
Linnell: The monotremes! The marsupials!
Linnell: They have pouches!
Linnell: And the placental mammals--
Flans: Placental mammals!
Linnell: All of them!
Flans: Can't make that stuff up, people!
Linnell: It's about this-- *interlaces fingers* --everybody together.
Flans: Come on! Keep it going for the mammals!
Flans: For a bunch of mammals, I do not hear an enthusiastic response!
Flans: That's the thing that makes mammals so great!
Later, Linnell answered a phone call from "the near future."
NF: I am calling from the near future! I know all and I can SEE all.
Linnell: Whoa. Um. Are we gonna get that Tesla sponsorship?
Linnell: Aw, what do you know?
NF: I can tell you, at least not in the near future.
Linnell: Might take a little longer.
NF: But if you keep on begging for it, you might be undermining your negotiating posture. That's just some free advice from the near future.
Linnell: Thank you for that advice.
NF: I can also tell that you have no other questions for the near future. Which is extremely incurious of you.
Linnell: We could get questions from the audience. This could drag out for a long time.
NF: NO. I can see into the near future and there will be NO QUESTIONS from the audience. They understand; only YOU do not understand.
Linnell: Yes, yes.
NF: Because you don't use the word "incurious" enough.
Linnell: I did wear my glasses to the show.
Linnell: Thought I'd look smarter.
NF: Not foolin' me! In the near future we know all and see all.
Linnell: So you know what song we're gonna play next, guy from the near future?
NF: I do, and that's why I'm going to the 3D printing exhibit. See ya later!
Somewhere in here, I had possibly the strangest, most personal mid-concert encounter I've ever had. So, I wore red capris to the show. As previously mentioned, I was in the front row, but due to some odd stage setup issues (there was a set of speakers out in front), I was a few feet back from the actual edge of the stage. Meaning that my entire outfit was fully visible.
And, uh, and in the middle of a song, Danny "Red Pants" Weinkauf gave me a questioning look, pointed to my pants, pointed to his pants, and kinda grinned, apparently to say "Nice pants!" or "We have matching pants!" I caught on, grinned, gave him a thumbs-up, and stood there wondering to myself if that had really just happened. (But it did, and it was pretty cool.)
Danny sang I Am A Paleontologist, but said beforehand that he still wasn't too crazy about singing in public, so if we could not take videos of this... And since his mic was right in front of me, he pointed at me and my camera, so I got chagrined and put my phone in my purse for the duration of the song. (I only wanted some nice close-ups, Danny! I respect you!) Anyway, the song sounded great and Danny has nothing to be self-conscious about. A TMBG concert is a safe space, man, we're here because we like you.
And they closed with Birdhouse, which is just always gonna be my favorite (though Let Me Tell You About My Operation is giving it a run for its money). I put my phone away for that one, too, just so I could really enjoy the moment. A great, fun show, though over too quickly.