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- Everything Right Is Wrong Again
- I Left My Body
- Damn Good Times
- Mrs. Bluebeard
- Your Racist Friend
- I Palindrome I
- All Time What
- Hearing Aid
- The Mesopotamians
- When The Lights Come On
- Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes
- This Microphone
- Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had A Deal
- Birdhouse In Your Soul
- Quiet Storm
- Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
- Bills, Bills, Bills
- Particle Man
- The Famous Polka
- Wicked Little Critta
- Number Three
- Man, It's So Loud In Here
- Doctor Worm
Fan Recaps and Comments:
This was my second time being at the Fillmore, after an Apollo 18 show a couple of years ago. It's a really awesome venue! I just love all things historic, and it really is just a cool venue even aside from that--I especially love the beautiful chandeliers (so does Flans, but I'll get to that).
So I was hoping they were actually gonna change the setlist this time after having the exact same one the previous two nights, and there are few songs that could've made me more excited than what they opened with: "Everything Right is Wrong Again"!!! Seeing the songs I have lyric tattoos from is always so intense for me. I've seen the other one, "Ana Ng," quite a few times, but this was only the third time I'd seen this one, and it was a majorly big deal. So that was the show highlight right off the bat!
After the song was over Flans said it was a sold out show, and that selling it out had "changed our whole self-image" and now they were "strutting around all arrogant and sticking our fingers into other people's chests." Then he said they were playing two sets and he wanted us to hold our applause for the second set (he actually said "second show," but he clearly meant to say "second set") and "treat us like any other opener" and feel free to do things like catch up on our emails.
Then he asked John how his day was (I love that he usually asks him this, because I'm always curious). John said that he'd slept for most of it, and Flans said he had too but he'd been trying to keep it a secret. Then he said it was part of his "two-part program: sleep all day, then drink an insane amount of coffee."
Then they had some whole long conversation about this self-help guru I don't really know named Tony Robbins. Flans said he'd just watched some Netflix documentary about him, which he expected to be some sort of exposé but was actually "a Trojan horse for him." John said he makes you not believe in self-help and think "I'll help myself, thank you very much." Then he said that his act has gotten a lot more obscene and he's now saying things like "How do you fucking feel?" whereas before he was more "G-rated." Then Flans said he'll yell at someone who "looks like someone's grandmother 'What the fuck is wrong with you?'" John said we should watch this documentary, and Flans said we should set a timer and just watch it for ten minutes.
Then Flans said they were going to be playing "new songs, old songs, and songs we barely know how to play." People cheered, and he said, "Those are our favorites too." Then he said they have a new album and it's really good. John: "We were holding the vial of good and someone jostled our elbow." Then Flans said they're "chuffed" about how good it is.
After "I Left My Body" and "Damn Good Times" (both great as per usual), Flans said the previous song had featured "the psychedelic experience of Dan Miller," and that the Fillmore is "no stranger to endless guitar sounds." Then he said that he didn't have "enough weird guitar sounds" on the next song, and John said that "the stakes are higher" cos it's the Fillmore.
Next they played "Mrs. Bluebeard"--John did not break his sad little streak of screwing up the lyrics every single time I've seen it, siiiiiiiiigh.
After "Your Racist Friend," they played "I Palindrome I," which was another delightful surprise and show highlight for sure--I've only seen it a handful of times, and it's such a good song.
Then, John picked up the contra-alto clarinet.
JF: This is the contra-alto clarinet. The signal for political revolution!
JL: Cells, awaken!
JF: If not here, when? If not now, where? Maybe I'm harping on this too much. *long pause*
Then they played "All Time What." Afterwards, Flans said that Dan had provided "an adult portion of high notes" on that song.
At the Fillmore they have a person walking around carrying a tray over their head bringing people drinks so they don't have to leave their spot to go to the bar. So the girl who was doing it this time was walking up near the stage (she was nice, I chatted with her a bit at the second show) and Flans said, "It would be interesting if that person didn't work here. There's not enough mustache wax in the world to top that. Not enough top hats in the world to mustache wax that."
Then they played "Bangs" and "Hearing Aid." They're doing an interesting cacophony of sound at the end of the latter, and it's good with Curt's trumpet too. That song is one of the ones I rank lowest on Flood (I don't hate it or anything, just not particularly into it), but it's still been rather enjoyable live somehow (I've been having that experience with quite a few songs that are currently in the set, actually).
Then Flans said that he's seen some movie called Last Waltz (another pop culture reference that was entirely lost on me) like 14 times, so when they play here he imagines an announcer announcing Neil Diamond. Then he asked if they could turn the chandeliers on "at a low volume." Then he said that there was going to be a "Neil Diamond/Van Morrison cage match--only one pantsuit will survive." Then John said that they've played a bunch of shows here before but he can't remember the chandeliers ever being turned on before, and Flans said you have to play a sold-out show to make it happen. They were very pretty, once they were on!
Then they played "The Mesopotamians." I've been burned out on this song live for quite some time, just cos I've seen it a million times, so I was pleasantly surprised when I actually enjoyed it this time.
Next they did the back-to-back thing that I was loving so much at the other shows of "When the Lights Come On" followed by "Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes." GOD, I cannot even handle how good it is seeing two songs as amazing as those two back-to-back like that.
After that, Flans was describing the chandeliers as jellyfish, which was really silly. He said he wished he'd taken some psychedelic drugs to appreciate them more.
JF: There's some commercial on cable TV for some memory tablet that says "Includes an active ingredient found in jellyfish." Because jellyfish remember everything. GUY IN AUDIENCE: IT'S THE STINGER!
JF: Yeh, I guess if you're stung by a jellyfish you won't forget it.
JL: And neither will the jellyfish.
JF: There has to be a German word for that sort of dream logic...This next song features the whole band.
JL: The word "features" is being taffy-pulled to mean "includes."
JF: It includes an ingredient found in jellyfish.
The song was "This Microphone," which I have been enjoying live (though I think there are several other songs from the album that would be even more suited to a live setting which they haven't yet played for some reason). Afterwards, Flans said they should play it again because there had been some sort of sound coming off the amp during it (I didn't hear anything). He said it reminded him of playing at the 9:30 Club, "where the PA liked to jam with us." Then a couple of crew guys came out to set up new amps, and Flans seemed pretty upset by them having to do this in the middle of the show. He said that one of them was "on the lam from the FBI" and that the other (Jon Carter, one of the very few crew members I can recognize just because he's been working with them forever) is from Vermont and is "made of pure maple syrup."
Flans said they only had a couple more songs to get through before the break between sets. John suggested they take the break now cos of the technical difficulties, but Flans didn't want to for some reason.
To kill time they started talking about Tony Robbins again. Flans said, "He doesn't have an asterisk, but I think he's icing," and that "his head and body are huge. He's going to join the Marvel team." John said he would be saying "How do you fucking feel now?," and Flans said he would be saying "Admit it, Hulk, your mom never loved you!" Then they were asking if the amp was working now and were apparently told that it had been working for several minutes. John: "They're waiting for us!"
So then they played "Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had a Deal," and as usual I was completely rocking out. And then they played "Birdhouse in Your Soul," and I was thinking that I didn't know if I could handle rocking out to that one when I'd already rocked out so hard to the previous one. But rock out I did!
The second set started the usual way: the "Last Wave" video, then the Quiet Storm section beginning with "Older." John was doing the amusing/creepy pointing as he sang it thing again.
Afterwards, Flans said this section of the show features electronic drums, trumpet, and his "haunted mic chip," followed by some silly sounds.
They played "I Like Fun," then Flans introduced "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" in a way I haven't heard him do it before. He said that these are "contentious times, troubling times" and this next song is an election song from 1840 and is "mean-spirited and super-hostile," so we should take this as evidence that things being that way now isn't new and "things get better, then they get shittier again, but that doesn't mean it's over." I thought this was an interesting way of thinking of it, and I wonder if it was part of the motivation for them bringing the song into the set.
So they played the song, and then John introduced "James K. Polk" in the same way he has been (with some variation)--by saying that this song is from WAY IN THE FUTURE of 1844, where there are "flying driverless beards" and "electric buggy whips."
After they finished, they bowed, and when they stood all the way up again John said he should finish the bow by playing a flourish on his accordion. I know he was just being silly, but I actually thought that would be cool.
Then they were joking again about the "haunted mic stand." John: "When they got home they found that the mic stand was attached to the car handle somehow!"
Then Flans said their next song was going to be from 1848, and sang the silly "Zachary Taylor has a tail" song he made up the night before. Then he said their next song was from 1852, but neither of them could remember who was president then. Someone yelled that it was Pierce. Flans said he couldn't think of anything to make up about him, and John said he was one in a string of crappy presidents. Flans asked him how, and he said he did things that were contributing factors to the start of the Civil War (I was as always quite excited to hear him showing off his intellect). Then he said his son died in a train wreck so they weren't really allowed to make fun of him, which led to some silence and nervous laughter. Flans: "I think we should take a moment of silence for how badly we're managing this part of the show. It's gone completely off the rails." (Perhaps not the best choice of words in light of what was just said...)
Then they played MY THEME SONG, and it was incredibly special and moving and emotional for me just like every other time I've seen it.
After "Istanbul," Flans started introducing "Bills, Bills, Bills." Once again he was talking about "Tubthumping" first, and some people were cheering, presumably thinking they were going to play that one instead. "For those of you not applauding, don't worry, we're not going to play that song. Because it is a song that, once heard, cannot be unheard."
After "Particle Man" and "The Famous Polka," Flans introduced "Wicked Little Critta" by saying, "Though we're from New York City, we have deep origins in New England. Haunted, cranky, emotionally unavailable New England."
Afterwards, Flans said the next song features Dan on acoustic guitar. John: "It features the word 'feature' as well." Then Flans said Marty only plays kick drum for the whole song, and they tried to talk him into playing other things but he refused.
At some point the chandeliers had turned off, and Flans was saying he wanted them to come on again. People started chanting "Jellyfish! Jellyfish!" I saw Flans saying it too, but I didn't hear him say it at the beginning and I wasn't looking at him right then, so I'm not sure if he was actually the one who started it or if it just started spontaneously in the crowd and then he picked up on it. Then he said that whoever was in charge probably wasn't going to listen because "they might think the band Jellyfish is reuniting." Then: "It's clear someone is on their break." But then they did come on and everyone cheered.
After "Number Three" and "Answer," Flans introduced "Man, It's So Loud in Here" by saying that a few months ago they'd done a Mink Car show. "We played all the songs we know how to play. We left out the ones we don't know how to play, cos we thought that might be socially awkward."
Next was "Twisting" (rocked my face off, as always), and then it was time for band intros. Flans introduced Curt, Dan, and Danny, then he said, "Well, that just about does it!" John was really amused. But then of course he did actually introduce Marty after that, he was just pretending to have forgotten him to be funny.
They closed out the main set with "Doctor Worm," which was superfun as usual.
When they came back for the first encore, they had the house lights on.
JL: Now you know how it feels for us.
JF: Confess! I want to do a special long-distance dedication to the guy flipping double birds. I know where you're coming from. I just keep it inside.
Then Flans was saying that in the dressing room they have a poster from some time the Black Crowes (man, this show was just full of pop culture references that went entirely over my head) played five nights in a row, which makes it seem like not such a big deal for them to do two.
The first encore was the same as the previous two nights: "Dead" followed by "Don't Let's Start." Even though it was no longer a surprise at this point, I was still ecstatic to see them playing two of my all-time favorite songs back-to-back.
When they were backstage again between the first encore and the second, I was trying to figure out what the second encore might be. At the previous two shows it was "Doctor Worm," but they'd already played that one so that couldn't be it this time. I decided that I'd love it if it was "No One Knows My Plan," cos I really wanted to conga again.
So they came back and Flans said, "We just have one more song. It's a dance party. We're done thinking, it's time to start dancing." And then they played "The Guitar," which yeh makes a great closer and normally I would've been perfectly contented with it, but since the idea had come into my head minutes before I'd just really had my heart set on "No One Knows My Plan," and Flans's "just one more song" absolutely ruled the possibility out.
But then! But then!! They surprised me by ACTUALLY PLAYING IT!!! I was SO EXCITED. Congaing during that song is seriously THE MOST FUN FUCKING THING EVER. The first two times I got to do it the people in front of me jumped out halfway through the song and I couldn't see where I could get in again, but this time I got to do it for the whole song, and it was so fun. Towards the end two parts of the line were passing by each other and we just all started high-fiving as we went by each other, and I was thinking that we knew how to have a real good time as opposed to all the people who were just standing around watching and MISSIN' OUT. A truly fantastic ending to a fantastic show!
The all-important JL wardrobe report: the same long-sleeved black shirt as the night before for the main set, but a black-and-white stripey t-shirt for the encores.