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Fan Recaps and Comments:
I Lost My Brain on the Highway to Antwerp
Among the many advantages of living in central Europe is the close proximity of many major cities. So when TMBG announced their surprisingly extensive European tour we were delighted over the great selection of possible places to catch them. Cologne would have been closest, but the location they were coming to is horrible (unbearable when sold out). I spear you the details why we ruled out the other cities. We chose Antwerp, first and foremost because we wanted to visit it again anyway. TMBG playing their first gig there made it a no-brainer.
According to Mr. Flansburgh the De Roma – a well preserved movie theater from the “golden age” with a capacity of 2000 when seated – was the most pleasant venue of the tour, with all the others looking “like the worst places in Game of Thrones”. That made the relatively sparse turnout of around 300 to 400 people even more unfortunate. However, the operator visually downsized the auditorium by hanging cloth panels form the ceiling and arraying a few high tables. This very much enhanced the atmosphere in an otherwise too big space. Only the band was somewhat challenged by the spacious stage they had to fill.
The band ran like a well-oiled machine. Mr. Flansburg somehow made us think of Vincent D'Onofrio in the first part of ‘Men in Black’. Marty Beller seemed to be most engaged in his playing. Curt Ramm was such a pleasure to listen to. His tone is as clear as a bell, and he is such an instantly likeable chap. All the other guys were also much fun to watch and to hear. We had a fantastic concert experience, well worth the journey and the admission!
As far as we were concerned, a first set with ‘I like Fun’ in its entirety would have been great, followed by a second set with all of ‘Gleem’, and an encore set with everything from ‘Nanobots’. Surprisingly though, that’s not what happened. This is the set list of 09/29/2018:
-Set 1- The Communists Have The Music; Meet James Ensor; Subliminal; The Famous Polka; Particle Man; Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had a Deal; Damn Good Times; Mrs. Bluebeard; All Time What; Doctor Worm; She's an Angel; Authenticity Trip; I Left My Body; Which Describes How You're Feeling; Spy.
-Set 2- Last Wave (Video); Applause Applause Applause; I Like Fun; A Self Called Nowhere; Letterbox; Istanbul (Not Constantinople); I Lost My Brain On The Highway To Antwerp (stub); Memo to Human Resources; Let's Get This Over With; The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight); Fingertips; She's Actual Size; The End of the Tour; New York City; The Mesopotamians.
-Encore- Number Three; Spider; Bangs.
-Encore 2- How Can I Sing Like a Girl?; Birdhouse in Your Soul.
Just in case someone from the band or close to the band happens to read this, we’d like to finish with some constructive criticism: At the very end of the show, after the final encore, please let all band members gather on stage to wave a conjointly farewell to the audience. It makes for such a better ending than just everyone walking off on its own. Thank you!