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Review by Ave:

(This "review" is excerpted from a fervent email sent to a friend TMBGer after the show- I apologize for the randomness, but at least the excitement is authentic :) Wow! The show was super all the way. This was my fourth time seeing TMBG, and this show blew all the others away. Effortlessly. The full band sounds tighter every time I hear them. They pulled out all the props, and really goofed around a lot up there... Let's see, they did Exquisite Dead Guy with the big puppet heads on sticks again- they shot a confetti cannon into the crowd during James K. Polk (Flans: This is what it's really all about- artillery and senseless violence.)- Flans brought out this huge thing that looked like a rainstick and which made a hissing/thumping boom for "Lie Still Little Bottle"... after that song Flans started singing into the stick, sounding very spacey, while John L. sang backup in a synthesized robot voice. The song they sang was "To all the girls I've loved before"! There were even Olympic events. The drummer competed in the Extreme Glockenspiel event. During "Shoehorn With Teeth" he would stretch and look very intense until it was time to lightly tap the happy glockenspiel. This prompted the crowd to spontaneously begin chanting "USA! USA!" Later they played some stuff which will be on the upcoming album (Severe Tire Damage). For this they gave a sneak preview of this Planet of the Apes thing where half the band has a musical battle against the other half. The Johns were the Apes, and when they played the audience had to pump our right fists and yell "Apes! Apes! Apes!" And when the bassist and the drummer played, we had to pump our left fists and yell "People! People! People!" The People won that battle. There is also a new studio album in the works, as yet untitled. I know two of its songs- one was called "Rest Awhile", and the other is "Older Than You've Ever Been." Yay! The did an encore of Spy, with Flans using his left hand to direct the band and his right to direct the audience to cheer, adjusting the volume up and down like some kinda damn was COOL! I decided to be a wallflower for this show rather than get beat up by people in the pit, so I stood in front of the soundboard. I met a couple of cool old-school fans, who were seeing They in concert back before they had a band. I think we were still in gradeschool. There was lots of room for dancing, and I stole a setlist from the sound booth. I found out later that it wasn't the actual set for this show, but the songs were all on it, and the memory all good. They really rocked this time- I mean stuff you could actually bang your head to, but then they'd turn around and play something old-style. The Johns came out without the band and played "Sapphire Bullets" for the first encore- they said they stopped playing that one live in 1988. It was a really great crowd, and you know how much their shows depend on a responsive crowd. So spiffy and swell. Try to guess what they did for the very last number... My all time favorite They song- No One Knows My Plan!!! I have always wanted to hear it live, but never thought I would. Flans informed us before the song that TMBG is actually a cult, and that part of the mind-control process is the Conga Line. So Laura and I got in one and ran singing all the way around the Newport with all the other fools. I very nearly passed out, so gleefully did I flail about. There could have been no better ending to this concert. I have not had this kind of fun in forever. ...Remember how I said there could be no better ending to the show? I lied. After the show, Flans stood at the bottom of the steps taking with people while he signed T-shirts, setlists, or whatever else people had on them. Flans laid my shirt across my back to sign it- a goofy sig with a bespectacled smiley for an O. What a band, what a night!