I'm not sure how to do a good job describing the concert. Some of the stuff, I'm not sure English has words for. Or maybe I just don't know them. "Fucking Awesome" is accurate, but doesn't really cover anything. A concert isn't just the music, or the seeing, it's a combination of everything from all your senses, just words or video or audio can't really convey any real sense of what was there, just sort of sketch the whole experience in the broadest way. The best I can do is really just wave my arms and go "It's like, y'know..." and if you've been to an awesome show you'll know exactly what I mean, if you haven't, you can sort of guess at it, but it's nothing like what it's really like. Which, I suppose, makes it kind of like sex. You either know exactly what I'm talking about, from your own experiences, or you can only guess. That's about all the sex in this story though, sadly.
How do you express the feeling of being crowded in with hundreds of other people, all screaming out the words to songs you've heard hundreds of times at least, while the band's less than a hundred feet away from you and rocking out, and the music and crowd are so loud you can feel it in your gut and can't even hear yourself yelling the words? Rocking out describes it, but it doesn't cover the whole body sensations of everything, the feel of the music, the noise, the sights, the smells, the connection to everybody else and the band and back and around and knowing the rest of the crowd is feeling the same kinds of things and having as awesome a time as you are. It was a great bonding experience for the Tribe of Nerd. This was nothing like when I went to the techno club with my friend who was getting married. This was totally awesome. It would have been more awesome if I'd been able to go with some more people I knew, or if I'd managed to get a chance to talk with some of the exceedingly cute nerd ladies running around in TMBG shirts (they were still outnumbered by guy nerds, but there were a LOT of chick nerds). But none the less, it was awesome. And I can totally understand why concerts are popular dates, because if it's a show you both have a great time rocking out, chances are there's going to be other rocking going on later.
Okay, something coherent and story-like. The 9:30 club is a pretty nice club. I explored most of it in the hour or so before the show started. I tend to do that, kind of like how dogs sniff all of a new place before they settle down. It was smoky, but not nearly as smoky as some clubs, I suspect that was mostly because of the audience of nerds. Before TMBG took the stage the opening act was Michael Leviton. His first two songs got lots of laughs, but his more standard love ballads afterward didn't really hold the audience's interest all the way through. I actually ended up standing next to him through about half of TMBG's show, at the back, but I never got a chance to talk to him. First a guy, who I suspect is the guy who wrote the long description on the TMBG wiki, got an autograph, then the band was on stage and started rocking out, and there wasn't any point in trying to talk.
They played at least three new songs (I think) and some older and newer songs I didn't know, because I still have a couple of albums I don't have. I picked up a signed copy of The Spine and a TMBG T-Shirt, which you can see in the "swag" pics. The best rocking out, though, was on the songs everybody knew the words of and screamed/sang along with. Like on Boss of Me, We're the Replacements, New York City, Experimental Film, We Want a Rock, and Purple Toupee. The last song I was there for was Doctor Worm, at the end of the first encore, apparently there was a second encore of Istanbul, but I had to run to catch the last metro back. The 9:30 club's not in the greatest neighborhood, and I really had no desire to be stuck in DC overnight. Maybe next time if I go to a show I'll take my car, for more flexibility, but when there's the subway, it seems silly.
But the show was seriously one of the most awesome things I've done, and I really should do more awesome things like it. Far too many parts of geekhood are solitary, there's no reason not to rock out en masse when you can.
Thanks to MvCRage, over on the TaBB Forum
, I found the show on This Might Be a Wiki
, a TMBG wiki. So when I get a chance to go back and edit the photos better, I can go through the set list and give pretty good guesses at which songs the pics are from. But that's for later. The quick and dirty pic gallery is here
. And there'll be more about this later, I'm sure. Because it was awesome.