Monday, February 22, 2010

Best Friday Night Ever

Well, as I made abundantly clear, I was able to go see Jonathan Coulton and Paul and Storm on Friday night. I wanted to recap it here a little bit since it is comedy music.

So Friday shows up. I am going with 4 guys, all younger than I am... in fact, I'm twice as old as a couple of them. Me, being the driver, didn't have to cram into the back of the car, so that was good. Well, I had to pick them up in Redlands, so Redlands to San Diego is a good 2 hour drive. It was fun. The 4 of them are really Dementia virgins. Sure, they have heard some Jonathan Coulton but outside of that, they hadn't heard anything so I had some CD's I made of my dementia mixed with Jonathan Coulton's Looking Back album. The first song was "Chainsaw Juggler" by the Great Luke Ski (the Four Postmen remake.) They started off wondering what it was they were listening to and then went to amazement and finally hysterical laughter at how great that song was.
So, we drive down to San Diego and drive by the place where the concert is going to be... in 3 hours. So we find a place to park - an underground parking garage. Nice place it looks like. Clean for a parking structure. It was only a block away from the Anthology and about 5 or 6 from the Horton Plaza. So we decide to go walk down to the Horton Plaza - a mall that looks like Dr. Seuss designed the place. We walk around the mall for a little bit until we found a giant chess board on the 4th floor. We watched a couple play and I think the guys kinda annoyed them out of playing so we got to play. It was Ben, the youngest of the group against me (although I had Nick moving my pieces.) I beat Ben, although I'm sure he wasn't set to play me.
Well, after that we went back to Anthology. By this time, there were about 15 people ahead of us, so it wasn't bad. We wait around, talking, listening to random JoCo songs on my cell phone, and commenting on the cool coat and top hat this guy a couple places ahead of us was wearing. One thing we did notice though is that Anthology was located at 1337 Indian St. It was definitely a Leet place.
Well, they finally let us come in and as they are seating us, Paul from Paul and Storm comes standing next to me looking for cell service. I found it amazing as I had pretty good coverage there. It is the first time that I have ever had better service than someone that I can recall.
The place is swanky. The tables aren't individual but more like group tables for groups of 10 and they'll mix your group with another one to fill the table. It was cool but unusual in places that I go. The bathroom had scope on tap so you can feel minty fresh. The stalls had baby changing tables with this picture on them... which I find kinda disturbing.
The thing about swanky restaurants is that there is a swanky price too.  To add to the ticket price of $24 a piece (which isn't bad) is a cover price of at least $15 in food/drinks.  So knowing we have to order something, we all do.  I order the seafood linguini.  Everyone else orders an open-faced burger.  The linguini was cheaper.
Tell you what though, the food is really good.  The prices are steep, but it has a good flavor that you'd expect with a swanky restaurant.  The doors open at 5:30, we have our drinks by about 6pm, food by 6:30 pm, and ready for the show to start at 7:30.  Right on time.
Let me say this:  I was the only one who had any inkling of what was about to come. Paul and Storm came out and blew my crew away.  Opening Band is a great opening song.  By the time we got to the Captain's Wife's Lament,  they were all loving on Paul and Storm and how great they were.  In fact, I asked Ben on Sunday about the concert and whether he liked Paul and Storm better or Jonathan Coulton.  Ben reluctantly said Jonathan Coulton but that Paul and Storm were utterly amazing. (And Nun Fight was the clincher).
Jonathan Coulton then came out and rocked the world.  He did the mainstays like Code Monkey and Re: Your Brains, but also did some lesser known songs like Better.  It was amazing.  Then Paul and Storm came back out to work with Coulton and if it was even possible, it became better.  They did a song about Curling.  They did a bunch of songs that were just amazing together.  One of the songs he did was "Mr. Fancy Pants."  He did this with a ZenDrum.  It was a fun rendition where he messed up in the middle of the song but that was ok.  If you want to see a bad tape of it, check it out on my facebook videos page.
Then JoCo "finished up" his set and left the stage.  Then he came back with Paul and Storm and did their encores: "Istanbul, not Constantinople" and then "First of May."  It was a fantastic concert and I think I made some new dementoids because we listened to Paul and Storm all the way back up.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.
We waited in line to look at the merchandise.  JoCo had a cool shirt with the words to Re: Your Brains as a letter from Bob to Tom.  He also had a flashdrive with every song of his from CD releases on it for $50 bucks. Paul and Storm had their CD's and an t-shirt with a pirate on it with "Dejected ARRRR" underneath it.  Cool stuff.
Then we waited in line to see JoCo.  When we finally got to the front, Nick had him sign a D&D Roleplayer sheet.  So Jonathan Coulton asks what he's going to make him.  A level 20 Bard and Level 10 Bad Dude.  He then tells Nick to make him Chaotic Evil.  JoCo is a D&D Nerd :)  Surprised?
Me, I just wanted to shake his hand and get a picture with him.  Very cool.  Made my night. And no, I didn't tell him about my evil plans to stuff him in the trunk and take over his life.  That may have freaked him out and he may have had a more blase look on his face then he did in this picture already.  (If you look behind us, you'll see most of our party in the window making funny faces.)
So we walk out of the concert and it starts to sprinkle.  Not to bad.  Not too cold.  Then we get to the parking garage and it's locked up.  The gate is closed.  The door we came out of with the elevators is locked.  OH NOS!  We look around for a way in. No luck.  We finally notice the squawk box by the gate and talk to the guy on the other side.  He says come to the front door.  We go back to the elevators and wait.  And wait.  And wait.  Nothing.  So we go back the squawk box.  He says come to the front door, which is around the corner from Starbucks.  Ok.  We found the entrance and at 11:00, we are back on the road finally.  An hour after we left the concert -- and it's raining the entire time.  So we get back up to Redlands around 1:00 am, back to my house about 2:00 am.  I am dead tired but have survived the trip.  It was so very cool that I would do it again in a minute.
So if Jonathan Coulton and Paul and Storm are touring anywhere near your house, and that is anywhere within 200 miles, make sure to go see them.  It's a trip well worth it.

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