Jonathon Coulton @ Majestic, Madison

Last Night, Jonathon Coulton and Paul & Storm came through Madison. Thankfully, there wasn't a horrible ice storm of death, like last time. It was actually really nice outside for a mid-October evening.

I'm not particularly a fan of Jonathon Coulton but I've actually seen him in concert a lot, which is somewhat weird. I've seen him 6 times in the past 2 years. Though, 3 of those were out of convenience of him performing at PAX.

Every time he comes through Madison, I buy a ticket and  I wonder why. I don't really like his music style and the crowd is usually packed with people that are WAY too into his music. But, I still buy a ticket and attend the show. And every time I'm glad that I did because I actually do enjoy myself. It's pretty fun, and the show feels pretty unique, even though it's the same thing.

Paul & Storm

Paul & Storm have traditionally performed that exact same material every time I've seen them open for Coulton. They start with Opening Band. They sing the Nun song, the music tributes (the musician in this situation), the 15 second commercials, and end with Pirates.

Tonight, they actually performed new material and they didn't rely on the same formula of their past performances. Here's their set list, which is a little out of order, and probably missing a song or two.

Paul and Storm - Theme Song
The Way-Too-Early Christmas Song
Frogger! The Frogger Musical
Nun Fight
Live
Nugget Man
If James Taylor were on Fire
If Aaron Neville Were Waiting for a Parking Spot at the Mall, but Someone else Snagged it
If They Might Be Giants were the Ice Cream Man
Opening Band
The Captain's Wife's Lament

Their Frogger song was pretty funny. Starting off with new material gave their set of a fresh view for people that have seen them a couple times already. When they sang their old stuff towards the end, it felt they were returning to the classics, rather than the same shit they sing every time.

Like usual, the crowd couldn't stop yelling out random nonsense. There was this girl behind us that couldn't help but yell in our ears as loud as she could. There was some dude in the balcony that had a gasping, yelping laugh that was infectious at first, but annoying as shit after it continued for almost a minute straight.

Though, Paul & Storm really feed off this crazy crowd. They'll continue to respond to the random yelling and usually retort and continue the tangential cycle that keeps them from singing anything.

Jonathon Coulton

Not too long after Paul & Storm finished their set, Jonathon Coulton took the stage and immediately began his set, which is as follows...

1. ????
2. Ikea
3. Shop Vac
4. Code Monkey
5. I'm your Moon
6. Curl
7. Space Doggity
8. "Dead" -They Might Be Giants
9, Big Bad World One
10. Creepy Doll
11. Mr. Fancy Pants
12. Drinking with You
13. The Future Soon
14. Skullcrusher Mountain
15. Still Alive
16. Mandelbrot Set
17. You Ruined Everything
18. Your Brains

1. A Talk with George
2. First of May

Coulton certainly acts more mature than Paul & Storm, so it felt rather awkward when the crowd would yell out random crap. I guess Coulton didn't really care, but most of the nonsense he just ignored or attempted to cull.

As I mentioned a few times, I'm not that big a fan of Coulton. I've seen him 6 times live, but I've never actually listened to any of his music outside of a concert. I've only heard the acoustic versions of anything he's done, except for Still Alive. And every time he performs a song I've heard before, it's mostly identical to what I've heard before.

When I saw Moby perform earlier this year, his set was full of songs from his entire body of work, but each one was played in a new style, or brought something new to the table. The concert was completely unique as it wasn't just a Live version of the song, but it was the 2009 Live version of the song. Adding Paul & Storm as background singers and percussion was a great addition, but maybe Coulton should bring something else or something more to his concerts to diversify.

It's great if you've never heard him before, but his past 3 performances in Madison are nearly identical. I guess if you're a huge fan, you probably just want to hear the "classics" rather than some experimental evolution of his "classics". I feel his songs have gone beyond the initial chuckle from the lyrics, and after that all you have is the underlying music, which I think is pretty standard.

He needs more experimental songs like Mr. Fancy Pants..

Coulton USB thingy

I mentioned that I've never bought or listened to any of Coulton's music before. Well... that changed last night, as I purchased this Jonathon Coulton USB stick. It's 2 gigs and contains ALL of his music, as well as, album art and source material for all the tracks of JoCo Looks Back (which is a CD of all his popular songs). It was $50, which might seem like a lot, but, again, has all 9 or 10 CDs of his plus stuff he's posted on his blog.




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