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Fan Recaps and Comments:


Great show as usual but I miss the brass they had with them a few years ago. Cost-saving measure due to congressional budget squabbling for sure. Still, there was brass a-plenty in the astounding opening act, the partly barefoot naifs known as Moon Hooch... wow! TMBG best watch out allowing such openers to take the stage... these kids are more than alright... keep your eyes out and your ears open and head on over to your favorite streaming service to search for some tracks. They call it cave music, but it's certainly not for hibernation.


I'm very sad that they're not doing more Nanobots stuff in the tour so far because it's such an amazing album. The lack of "Stone Cold Coup d'Etat" is really baffling because it would definitely work so fucking well live. John does not write many songs that let him REALLY REALLY ROCK OUT, that's generally Flans's department, so you'd think he'd want to take the opportunity when he has it. Besides, it's only the VERY BEST song on the whole album. Well, maybe they'll do it later in the tour. Anyway, I was very happy to hear some of my other favourite songs from the album, most of which I'd seen them premiere in Brooklyn, but of course I didn't even know what they were then. Gotta say, I don't think I've ever felt more badass in my whole life than knowing all the words to songs on an album that hasn't even been out for a week yet--the constant listening has really paid off.
"You're on Fire" live was not how I expected, but awesome and a great way to open. After they finished it, Flans said, "It's a little inferno here--it's like they opened up the doors of Hell, and there was the House of Blues with They Might Be Giants!"
"When Will You Die" was next. I'm really glad that's still in the set cos it's probably the song from Join Us that's the most fun live.
JF: I had two cups of coffee right before the show, so if I die on stage tonight, tell my wife I love her.
JL: You love her if you don't die, don't you?
JF: Well, yeh, but you don't have to tell her.
Flans then said "The show's already going too fast and we're only two songs in." I was really confused that he could be saying he was so messed up from two cups of coffee, cos two cups is really not that much, particularly for such a notorious coffee fiend. But he really did not seem to be acting any more hyped up than he usually does to me.
Then he told a story about a Hank Williams Jr. performance where he's only a few songs into the show and starts thanking the crowd cos he thinks it's over. "It was for Budweiser. They sued him."
Before "Call You Mom," they were explaining how they have a new album out.
JL: You can get stem cells from the CD--that's how new it is.
JF: Four working tribute bands have already been cloned from it.
At all of the shows John introduced the song as "I Think I'd Like to Call You Mom." I know there are other examples of them saying a song title is longer than it is ("I've Got a Match, Your Embrace and My Collapse," "I Wanna Thank You for Putting Me Back in My Snail Shell," "I Saw My Baby Wearing Santa's Beard"), but I thought they only did that before a song was released with a shorter title--so him doing this was pretty silly.
Before "Cloisonne":
JF: We'd like to welcome a special guest to the stage--the bass clarinet! Yes, it's not just for dessert anymore. The giant licorice stick is here to play music for you.
For "Drink!":
JF: I don't know if we even played this song the last time we were here, but I'm just gonna say this like it's true--it's a tradition for us to play this song when we come to the House of Blues. There are no traditions like new traditions. I'm going to bifurcate the audience, which if you look in your bullshitter's dictionary means "divide"--it's the $12 word for "divide."
The recordings I've heard of "Drink!" are all with them doing the "NO WAIT" thing, but this time instead Flans explained that he was going to sing "Drink," and then the people in the balcony would, and then the people on the floor would. After practicing a couple of times, he said, "I'm going to take off the musical training wheels now, and just point at you like a Latin American fascist dictator."
After the accordion block was over Flans was writing something on a clipboard.
JF: I just gotta make some notes to myself, on how the show's going.
JL: How is the show going? *crowd cheers* No, I think you're confused--I was asking him.
JF: Show's going good. Every day we start at 9 a.m. with a Powerpoint presentation for all the band members.
JL: We have a points system. Then we write some Yelp reviews. Really angry and bitter Yelp reviews.
JF: Today I was going to get a haircut, which I badly needed, but every barber had five to seven really angry reviews. So...we have a new album called Nanobots. It's the most unambitious Kickstarter campaign ever. What we did was, we recorded an album...and then we put it up for sale. That's it. The funding comes after the album.
JL: It's kind of a pay it backwards thing.
JF: It's the Benjamin Button of albums...I don't remember how this next song goes.
JL: That's worth points.
So the next song was "Circular Karate Chop" and oh man he was so not kidding about not remembering how it went--he completely butchered the lyrics, sometimes in ways that didn't even make sense, like "Dumping out my anorak." And he said "Two rules from your sensei" cos he knew he couldn't remember the third, but John still did the "THREE," so Flans was like "I said, outsource your feelings!" It was kind of amusing and cute, but I felt bad for him too.
JL: This is a song about our eleventh president. I wish we didn't have to write this song. But it had to be done.
There was some quality John spazzing during the third verse, but sadly that was the only time. He does it like NONSTOP on the songs where he's singing and not playing anything so those are always highlights, but sadly there aren't any of those in the rotation right now.
Next was "The Guitar," which I've seen a million times but is always one of the BEST parts of the show. John was hopping a lot and it was adorable.
JF: It's now time for a very special part of the show--and I know what you're thinking, it's the time when the pot cookies are burning, cos that's all I can smell right now. I think it's time to take them out of the oven, cos they are done.
JL: Out of the smoke machine.
JF: Baaaaaaaaaaked.
But what he really meant by "special part of the show" was they were dividing the crowd for "Battle for the Planet of the Apes." My friend Eric, whose nickname is Monkey, and I were on the Apes side, and he said he was very excited cos he had to be on People last time. Me: "If anybody should be on Apes, it's you."
After Flans announced that People won:
JF: The worst sportsmanship we've seen. Several People flipping the bird.
JL: I think they're replacing their blood in between competitions.
JF: We played in Louisville on Tuesday and they'd been drinking since Thursday, and they didn't flip anyone the bird.
JL: You won, but you get an asterisk.
Then they talked about how the People and Apes on the floor were getting together again, but there was still tension in the balcony. JL: "The stuff they left on their seat isn't there anymore."
Next was "THEY'LL NEED A CRANE," FUCK YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Third time seeing it now but there are never too many times to see ONE OF THE MOST PERFECT SONGS IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. I was rocking out a lot, singing probably too loudly, smiling so hard my face hurt, and feeling completely overwhelmed with how desperately in love with John I am for writing something so flawless.
I was hoping John would do the super-dorky dancing over towards Avataring at the end of "Insect Hospital" like he did in Brooklyn, but sadly he did not.
JF: I'm going to have to let you in on something we shouldn't talk about on stage. I want to flip these next two songs.
JL: That's crazy. But yes.
Then Flans told the same story as in Brooklyn about how he did an interview with someone and she was completely horrified when she found out TMBG uses a setlist.
JF: I can't hear what that man is yelling--something about a punch in the face? All I can hear is that Mike Tyson quote about "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face," that's all I can think of when I hear that. "Loosen up"--we'll work on that. I think you might be in the minority with the "loosen up." thing. Other people are thinking, "These guys are too loose."
Then they played "Nanobots," and after John said "Nan-o-bots, is the other way to pronounce that," and I was like, "You mean the right way, John?"
Introducing "The Mesopotamians," John said, "I don't know which album this is from--a few albums ago," and I had one of those very peculiar flashes of realizing that what they do is SO FUCKING IMPORTANT to me and it is not, you know, what his life entirely revolves around for him. It's a weird thing to think about. Then he said, "It's about an ancient near-Eastern Monkees tribute band, or something...why are you looking at me like that?"
Then they did the 1-2-3 band intros thing. John was at first playing his keyboard bent waaaaay over where you couldn't even see him, and then he played it WITH HIS FOREHEAD, and it was incredibly silly and cute.
Then John said they have a "psychic power of lesser value, we don't really know the point," and they did the giving audience members nicknames thing, which continues to be amusing.
JF: What's that person's nickname, John?
JL: Oh my god! Oh my god!...That's the nickname.
Then Flans dubbed someone "Necropolis," (JL: "I wonder where he got that nickname?" JF: "It's Greek, isn't it?"), Flans said he was getting "Superhands" but he couldn't attach it to anyone, and John said someone was "Sequester." Then Flans said they were gonna stop and just "take it to Joy Behar's show," and John said they have to take a lot of Advil after the show cos of migraines from "all the stupid nicknames."
Next they did "Lost My Mind." It's a perfectly fine song on the album, but I feel like it's really underwhelming live, so why they're doing it instead of "Stone Cold Coup d'Etat" which would be SO GREAT I haven't a clue.
When they came back for the encore, Flans was plugging the iPhone app.
JF: It's like we always say--if you just buy a $300 phone and have a $150 phone bill every month, you can get an app free of charge. The Android version is coming. *crowd cheers*
JL: Not the Android phone. It's for androids.
Then a guy held up his phone with the app open, and Flans asked him to spin it around to show everyone. "Product placement! It's like The Price is Right."
Then more people were yelling stuff.
JF: We already played Birdhouse--we can't play Birdhouse again. If we were a British band we'd play Birdhouse twice, but...too soon.
JL: Stop yelling stuff at us.
JF: We have a Tumblr account--we don't know why, but we do. And we're on Friendster. This next song is dedicated to everyone who's yelling and can't hear what I'm saying.
Then they did "Tesla," which worked live a lot better than I expected.
So yeh, even though there wasn't as much new material as I would've liked it was, as always, a superb show, with a mostly good selection of the new stuff they did play and some very welcome old favourites.