Months after first hearing about Jonathan Coulton on TWIT podcast, I ended up at a live show by JoCo himself. The wonder of the Internet. Through his web site, I registered with Eventful to be kept informed of when the JoCo would perform in the New York metro area. He is famous now and is demanded all over the U.S. and in London too. Never mind the fact he and I both live in Brooklyn. The notice came, I almost instantly bought 3 tickets for my family, although I am sure Wife would only come along to keep company. My Son has a few JoCo favorites of his own, even if he doesn't get all the jokes.
The show overall was great. The Highline Ballroom is easily accessible by subway. There is even a subway entrance on 16th street so you just need to walk west a few avenues. The line to get into the place is in two pieces, one in front of the Ballroom and another past its neighbor Western Beef. I suppose Western Beef doesn't want Ballroom's customers blocking their entrance. At first I thought that the Ballroom took Beef's place but they just didn't have time to replace the signage.
Paul & Storm were the opening acts for JoCo, but really did more than that. They actually performed half of the show, from the beginning to intermission. They came back to add more flavor to JoCo's performance, too, with singing, tambourine, etc. A gal named Tristan Shea took part in the show with her ukulele off and on. Sorry, Tristan, I'll have to do some research to get your name right, but I can't do that lest I derail my train of thought. There was also a whole army of ukulele players at times, supposedly JoCo fans who were given the honor to participate. Very interesting!
Given the fact that JoCo is pretty cool about fans making things out of his music, I thought it would do no harm to also share part of the performance. Photos probably won't come out right as the lighting is set just to ruin any photos taken. Video recording looked promising and I managed to record a few songs. While recording Still Alive, some security guard told me to stop and I complied. I wonder if it's no video recording at all at Ballroom or just that song. JoCo wrote the song for the game Portal, whose copyright is held by Valve Software. My Son kept asking when JoCo would sing Re: Your Brains and the man finally sang it near the very end. I don't know if he had a second encore, but after JoCo, Paul & Storm, Tristan and her ukulele players came out to bow, we rushed out the door. It was already 10:30ish.
The subway ride home was scary. At one stop a bunch of teenagers hopped on and started to horseplay. They didn't actually physically touched anyone but they turned the subway car into their own playground. The group, consisting of boys and girls, was hooting loudly and cavorting about as their hormones raged unchecked. At the next stop, we went to the next car along with many other passengers. The next stop, those same "kids" followed their scared victims. Again they didn't physically harm anyone although some would remark about the passengers' clothes and appearances. One of them came up close to two Chinese women and made faces at them. All the while I couldn't help thinking about Bernhard Goetz. There will be no peace in this world with these unruly "kids" roaming freely. They are so unaware that their actions are not seen as representative of them, but of their whole race. It does not take much effort from threatening people to actually robbing them, especially when they travel in packs.