September 29, 2007 7:07 pm

John, John, and Hellfire Tobi

The decision to attend the They Might Be Giants show at the Roseland Theater was sort of impromptu. I mean, I’d been meaning to buy tickets for weeks but just hadn’t gotten around to it, so the night before the show when we saw that it still hadn’t sold out, Daniel and I agreed that it would be a huge mistake to pass it up.

Turns out we were totally right. They played a bunch of songs off their new album, and they played a bunch of our favorites like “She’s an Angel,” “Birdhouse in Your Soul,” “Alphabet of Nations,” and “The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight).” They did a special feature in which they accepted calls from the dead, and Carl Sagan called and asked how he could successfully use his new iPhone since it’s heat-sensitive and his fingers were “bone and ash.” Hee.

I was really impressed with their trumpet player. He hit so many high notes and did them all perfectly. It’s really hard to play high on a trumpet (or it was for me, at least) so I could appreciate the talent. The trombonist and saxophonist were great as well.

The very next night, we went to the Edguy show at Rock N’ Roll Pizza. Tobias Sammet is my favorite metal vocalist EVAR and it was hugely exciting to see Edguy live. The venue was pretty small, I think mostly because there are not nearly as many Edguy fans in the US as there are in Europe. They fill 10,000+ venues over there and last night there were probably 100 people total. Tobias Sammet kept trying to pump the crowd up, and we tried to be loud, but I think he was kind of disappointed that there were so few people.

Tobias had on a sleeveless t-shirt with the words “HELLFIRE TOBI” on it and very, very small black pants. We joked later that we should all have shirts made with our names on them in place of “TOBI.”

The guitarists and bass player would occasionally line up and start swaying their hips in sync with each other and the music and it was cracking me up. Tobias kept turning around to face the drummer and HE DID THE “PISTON” DANCE. Daniel has this outrageously embarrassing dance he does occasionally, and it involves systematically squatting down and raising one fist in the air, and on the second squat, you bring the first fist down and raise the second. It’s awful. AND TOBIAS SAMMET DID THE DANCE. Tom, Brian, Carrie, Daniel and I all burst into hysterics at the same moment as we all realized what he was doing. There is video evidence here (the dance lasts for only about the first second or so before it turns into something a bit more normal), but sadly I do not have Daniel’s dance on video for comparison.

Totally random: One of my favorite things about European bands is that they pronounce Portland like “portl-and” instead of “port-land.” The “L” noise is very distinct and I think it’s wonderful.

The band was super generous with their band-related paraphernalia like guitar picks and extra drumsticks. We weren’t close to the stage so after their encore was finished and they walked off, we slowly made our way up front hoping to grab something of interest. Everything appeared to be gone, but then we spotted a guitar pick on the stage! I couldn’t reach it, so we hovered close to it for a few minutes until a stage tech came by and I quickly asked him if he could please grab the pick for me.

Edguy Pick Front Edguy Pick Back

True to form, they played the song “Avantasia” during the encore. It’s so exciting to hear that song live since it’s so operettic. During the show, they also played “Lavatory Love Machine” (a song about being intimate in an airplane), “Save Me,” “Vain Glory Opera,” “Tears of a Mandrake,” “King of Fools,” and “Fucking With Fire,” which is quite possibly one of the greatest rockin’ metal songs ever written.

Two shows in two days while coming down with a cold (again! I know!) may not have been the greatest idea on paper, but it was so worth it.

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