6/20: San Fran, CA @ Great American Music
6/21: Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater
6/22: Seattle, WA @ Showbox at the Market
6/23: Vancouver, BC @ Venue
Just a friendly reminder that Jonathan Coulton will be playing at the Guthrie (McGuire Proscenium Stage) in Minneapolis on June 18th.
Opening up for Coulton was extra bushy bearded John Roderick from the Long Winters, who took full advantage of the Shakespearean set piece (the background courtesy of Roman Holiday). All of the songs were Long Winters songs, including a new song, "Not Moving To Portland", but all done on acoustic guitar. Roderick knew how to handle the crowd and always had some banter queued up when he's tuning his guitar. He ended his set with "The Commander Thinks Aloud".
Everyone that came to see Jonathan Coulton played were hardcore fans, and we're talking about 600+ nerds who knew all of JoCo's songs by heart, at least that was the impression I got. They hung onto his every word, and it didn't really matter what he or his "2-piece orchestra" did for the next two hours, his fans would love it.
Coulton played a solid set, mixing a lot of old hits ("Code Monkey", "Skullcrusher Mountain" - with 'Scarface' singing) with a good mix from his album, Artificial Heart, plus "the newest song in the known universe", "Redshirt". He did explained a lot of his songs, which I often thought was unnecessary, because I felt that his audience already knew the origin of his songs (plus, everyone who likes Star Trek would already get the Redshirt reference).
I don't have the setlist, but according to my notes, he played some of these songs: "Still Alive" (clearly the audience's favorite song judging from the huge cheers), "You Ruined Everything" (about his daughter), "Tom Cruise Crazy", "1st of May" (for the adults in the room!), "Good Morning Tucson", and "Re: Your Brains" (aka the Zombie song).
My favorite song from his set, and I didn't expect to love it as much, is the live version of "Je Suis Rick Springfield". This is a song about Rick Springfield trying to pick up two girls in France and the song is sung through his "high school" French dialogue. But the best part is in the middle of the song, there is a medley of "Jessie's Girl", just to remind you that Coulton stole the chords and to remind you how truly awesome that song is.
He ended his set with "I Feel Fantastic", which obviously leads to the encore. Okay, you know how I feel about encores. Zero is abnormal, but forgivable, because usually the audience isn't demanding one or the band is tired or the band's policy is to not to do encores. One or two songs are standard. Three, if the audience really demands it and usually one song doesn't count because it's a cover song. Four… well four, that's like a mini-concert! As I previously mentioned, JoCo had a captive audience, so it really didn't matter if he played another six songs, his fans weren't leaving.
The four songs Coulton played were "I Crush Everything", "Mr. Fancy Pants", "Nemeses" and "Feel Like Makin' Love". I really enjoyed the Fancy Pants song, a bit of an irony considering the fancypants theater we were in, but also the way the song was "live remixed" was pretty incredible in my opinion.
If you are new to the Jonathan Coulton's "known" universe, he does offer most of his songs for free. They're all under creative commons, so you're allowed to remix, create music videos, or use it in your production - as long as you credit him. I think this kind of attitude works, because it does inspire people to spread your music. And even if they've already downloaded his songs, I see a lot of his fans buying the CD or T-Shirts or USB sticks because they want to support Team JoCo.
Jonathan Coulton is currently wrapping up his tour in support of his album, Artificial Heart, which is out now.
Jonathan Coulton (with John Roderick in the center) at Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis (06/18/12)