Stockholm Trip: The Concert
So yes. The concert.
Paul and Storm came out first, did their introduction and of course opened with Opening Band. Two panties were thrown, for those who wonder. These two guys really know how to make a show of it. They took about 45-50 minutes, and joked around with the audience, and they seemed to be impressed with us as well, considering they had never been in Sweden before, and yet we were totally with them on everything, be it light-hearted, dark or outright morbid. They confessed to knowing very little about Sweden except Abba, which turned into a running gag for the entire show.
I found a mostly complete and fairly accurate set list for the show here.
While there was no Cruel, Cruel Moon; they did do the Frogger Musical, George R R Martin Write Like The Wind, Thanksgiving and a few others I struggle to remember before ending with their infamous audience participation rendition of The Captain’s Wife’s Lament, which was completely awesome. Some people got so Yarrrr’d up that they kept slipping out the odd Yarrrr even after Jonathan Coulton himself came on.
Then we had a short break where a few lucky souls managed to get some swag before the bell rang and the main act started. Once we were all seated Jonathan walked onto the stage and launched straight into Ikea before introducing himself. As he said; he had to get it out of the way, or everyone would be thinking about it all night. There were so many songs I struggle to remember which of them went where. I went in there hoping to remember the whole set list, but that was a futile hope. Here are some of the songs, even if I can’t remember the order: Shop Vac, Want You Gone, Drinking With You, Sticking It To Myself, Today With Your Wife (which was one of two songs I hadn’t heard before), Nobody Loves You Like Me (which was the other), Skullcrusher Mountain, I Crush Everything, Baby Got Back, Still Alive, Creepy Doll and Mandelbrot Set.
There were a lot of high points. Like when he did Nobody Loves You Like Me he used a special voice program on his laptop to make it sound quite unique (to me at least). And after the first 4-5 songs he started talking about how he’d called out on Twitter for suggestions as to what songs he should do tonight, which ended up with people requesting ALL the songs. But he noticed a strange trend in how the sad songs were more requested than anything else. So he decided to make this the saddest show EVER with a series of five songs to plunge us into despair. Though he brought on Paul and Storm to help him with the fifth song (I Crush Everything) and within a few minutes of banter they were discussing pig cheese, which kinda spoiled the gloomy atmosphere. 😀
They did the next series of songs together before Coulton again went solo for the last few songs, and ‘ended’ with Re: Your Brains where we were all the zombies. While explaining the song Coulton said there were no zombie bands, so we weren’t supposed to be eloquent, but someone in the audience suggested Abba as a zombie band, which was acknowledged. After the song Coulton explained the concept of an encore to us, even though I imagine most of us knew it, but he was funny while doing it.
So we of course got him back on after he exited, which netted us a rendition of First of May, and I believe this is where he also played Always The Moon. Then we managed to get him back for a second encore, and he said he really didn’t have a plan for this. He agreed to do Big Bad World One for us though, with Paul and Storm backing, and then as a final bonus and sign-off he unplugged his guitar and all three of them stepped past the microphones to give us a cover version of Sweet Caroline which was just amazing.
I realise this description probably seems a little dry, but I am failing to find the proper words for how much I enjoyed this night. There were a lot of jokes and awesome interplay between the three of them and us. Coulton said it was almost a little scary to go to a country he’d never been to and be met with a few hundred people who already knew the lyrics to most of his songs. They had all enjoyed their stay and the concert though, and said they’d like to do a bigger tour sometime in the future. I’ll be crossing my fingers for an Oslo show, so I can drag my sister along. She’s not a nerd, but we have a very similar sense of humour.
While the whole trip was good, this night would have been more than enough to make it all worth it, all on its own. I kinda thought I’d never be able to experience a JoCo concert, and getting Paul and Storm along with that was a delicious bonus. Their presence in front of a live audience is close to magical. There were like two free seats in the entire theatre, and they looked to be from someone who couldn’t make it.
We applauded Jonathan Coulton’s idea to drug us all and murder us in our sleep. Well, it was Paul’s idea really, but JoCo seemed to like it. I think he said “if there was money in it, I’d do it”. And they did some pretty bad, but utterly hilarious covers of I Saw The Sign by Ace of Base and Take A Chance by Abba.
I laughed, I sang, I grinned like an idiot, I was outright blown away. If I had the money, I think I would have followed them to England to go to every show there as well. It was just nice for one night to be a complete and utter nerd and fan. All three of them are spectacular live performers, and genuinely funny people. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.