Quick Review: Jonathan Coulton Live 1/23/10

Got to see JoCo live at the Great American Music Hall on Saturday January 23, 2010.  I couldn’t procure a ticket for Mr. Sonic Rob so I went with some nerdy friends.

As we loitered in the vestibule trying to decide if we should go upstairs or stay downstairs to find a good table (it’s all table seating), a staff member approached and asked “How many in your party?” He then led us to a table normally reserved for people who buy dinner tickets, which are twice as expensive. This table was in the second row back from the stage. Let’s hear it for aimless milling leading to desirable consequences!!

The opening band was not Paul and Storm! We got two songs from Kid Beyond who is a beat-boxing live-looper. This means that he samples his own beat boxing and creates a mix right there as you are watching. He then sings and beat boxes over this beat, manipulating the beat using his mixing/sampling board. It was amazing. Brother is gifted and – as an added bonus – a total dork! He invented this: Crossdoku.

Kid Beyond blew us away, then Paul and Storm came on and did a well executed but typical Paul and Storm set. They are great musicians and comedians but if you’ve seen them once you seen them and they don’t have  a lot of innovation in their act. The audience ate them up, I would have liked more new material.

Jonathan Coulton was in good form. The set list included most of his hits but was not a complete repetition of his PAX 09 show which was good because that one had four encores and went to three in the morning. With the number of young children in attendance performing “First of May” was not in the cards. He played at least three songs I hadn’t heard before and the ones I had heard I was happy to sing along with. A Jonathan Coulton concert is, for all intents and purposes, a nerd sing-a-long, we only lacked smores and eyes teared up from campfire smoke to make it perfect. The “Mr. Fancy Pants” breakdown was greatly enhance by Coulton and Kid Beyond having a mix off.  The culmination came when Coulton busted out “Single Ladies” mixed with the the Super Mario Bros theme song and Mr. Fancy Pants. Kid Beyond struggled for a moment and then beat boxed The Cheat’s rave theme from StrongBad. The system was down, indeed!

Then we had punch and pie (banana creme) and went home.


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