JoCo (and Paul&Storm) is one of the few folks that introverts kestrell
and I are willing to go out and see. Even so, the crowds and volume level can be a big strain. Next time we probably won't actually have dinner at the Paradise, but find somewhere quieter. Also, the wait staff was utterly overwhelmed by the crowd. The food *was* good, though. Chatted with juldea
a bit while waiting for food, which was fun. Much comparison of which songs no longer sound like they have the 'right' lyrics, having been replaced in our brains by the Weird Al versions.
Last time we went to the Paradise, helpful wait staff shooed us into the 'reserved' seating area on account of Kestrel's disability. Yay magic stick! We tried the same trick this time, and it sorta worked. *This* time, Judy's birthday party of doom quite overfilled the Reserved section. On the other hand, we got there first, and Judy quite gracefully let us stay. In fact, she even gave us glowing necklaces, so we would blend in with the rest of the party! Happy birthday, Judy!
The sound people had the bass turned up to 'vibrate bones' level. Luckily, the actual performances didn't feature too much bass, except for the Zendrum on Mr. Fancy Pants. (Which song gets longer and stranger every year.)
Paul&Storm had a new intro to their standard opener "Opening Band". This time they got 16 panties and a diaper ("That does *NOT* count!"). Much improv and audience interaction (heckling in both directions). Running gag of taking a random phrase that the other one said and saying "...that's the name of our (foo) band." When they sang a sad song, people not only lit up the 'lighter' app on their iPhones, but many Nintendo DSes were waved in the air as well. Mine had Scribblenauts on it, so I typed in "lighter" and waved that :) One person actually had a physical lighter, which greatly impressed the duo.
The Captain's Wife's Lament (about a 2 minute song) ran 10 minutes with the audience interaction and general chaos. Very rowdy crowd. Kes and I wondered how/if JoCo would rein them in. To quote JoCo's blog from a different occasion: "Paul and Storm did their usual kick-ass job of warming up the crowd, then setting them on fire and burning them up until only ashes remain."
What he did, and it worked pretty well, was to almost completely eschew patter, and just jump from one song, straight to another, giving very little opportunity for the audience to act up. I approve of this overall, as his songs are stronger than his patter (which is almost the reverse for Paul&Storm). It certainly seemed like he got to sing more songs by doing this, which I also think of as a Good Thing. He sang a song I hadn't previously heard, about the evils of Brookline.
During "Re: Your Brains", in the audience participation bit, I did sing some of the zombie verses from the Plants vs Zombies theme song, but they were drowned out. Fun idea, but turned out not to work.
The show ended a little after midnight, and Kes and I caught the last train home, getting home a bit before 2 AM. Next time, must consider whether it's worthwhile to just take a cab...