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Fan Recaps and Comments:


Had an interesting time hanging out before the show--when I walked past the local head shop on the way to the coffee shop, they were playing Jonathan Coulton's music through their sound system that was audible from the sidewalk. Strange, I wouldn't think JoCo would have a stoner fanbase. While hanging around in the neighborhood before the show, I also checked out some of the "cat-lined record stores" that Flans would bring up later that night. The cats were indeed cuddly. Anyway, here is my OVERLY-LONG recap that mostly focuses on the banter and other strange moments during the show.
The Beachland is a pretty small place, only 550 capacity or so, and the last time I was there to see TMBG I was waaaay in the back, so I had forgotten just how tiny the stage is. Linnell's keyboard took up a lot more space here than it normally does.
When Flans first came onstage he was making a ridiculous face and talking in a really silly voice before they launched into Birdhouse. Between Celebration and Don't Let's Start there was a great bit of banter between the Johns where Flans discussed shopping for records at the record stores near the venue, and noted how the "cat-lined record stores" had very friendly cats inside, which isn't usually the case with record store cats. He continued talking about the cats and mentioned how cuddly they were, at which point Linnell remarked that he had thought Flans had been using "cat" in the old jazz slang sense of the word up until Flans started talking about cuddling with the cats in record stores. (Flans: "I'm talking about kitty cats, John.") And after all this cat talk, when they launched into Don't Let's Start, at the line "the words I'm saying now mean nothing more than meow to an animal", John Linnell made a little clawing gesture and meowed.
Also somewhere in here Flans gave away the signed Join Us vinyl to some little girl in the front row, and told her to hold it for him until the end of time. (It was cuter in context, I guess.) There was also some bit of banter about how the Beachland Ballroom travels around casting its aura all over the neighborhood and everywhere else that they returned to at the end of the show. As a non-native Clevelander (but a lifelong northeast Ohio resident), I can confirm that the Beachland does indeed possess MAGICAL PROPERTIES.
Before they played "Experimental Film" there was a great bit of banter about song keys, but I'm not going to bother transcribing/describing here because I took a video of it and it's on youtube and I'm just going to put a link up to that instead.
Dan Miller was really smiley during "Doctor Worm" and afterwards, despite the fact that they had launched into The Famous Polka without letting him switch back to guitar from keyboards; they were poking a lot of good-natured fun at him that night, saying that it was his birthday (and actually starting a Happy Birthday singalong at one point).
The Avatars were really strange tonight. Green Avatar kept shouting that he couldn't feel his arm (despite the fact that he IS an arm), while Blue Avatar was obsessed with the fact that he could see another Blue Avatar over his shoulder (due to the fact that the big projection screen was visible behind the avatars) and said he felt like he was in Black Swan. (I filmed this bit too, so check the video if you want)
During "Never Knew Love", the audience was cracking up at Linnell singing the "LOOOOOVE" backup part during Flans's bits, and began to sing along with him. Linnell actually noticed and seemed kind of embarrassed and didn't sing the backup part the second time around. Awww. Sorry John, we didn't mean to make you feel self-conscious. Also earlier during the show (during Cyclops Rock) a bunch of us in the audience got a really strange look from Linnell after a we cheered at the fact that Flans sang Nixon instead of Chucky.
Battle For The Planet Of The Apes was pretty uneventful as usual, but Marty and Dan and Danny seemed to be having a lot of fun in the back...the Dans were playing along on assorted drums too. I think Danny was playing a cowbell at one point, but my memory might be playing tricks on me here.
Band intros were them making a bunch of strange, awful noises on their instruments again, adding members one by one until it was a glorious cacophony. The end of the concert is kind of a blur though. All I remember is that Linnell came right up to the edge of the stage with his bass clarinet during Lie Still, Little Bottle, and I could've reached out and touched his foot if I had wanted to (except I didn't want to because that would've been creepy).
One last note: Even though there were no confetti cannons at any point during the show, throughout TMBG's set individual pieces of confetti kept drifting down from some unknown location. I have no idea how or why this happened, but IT KEPT HAPPENING.