A quick review of the Minneapolis gig: WOW!!!
A longer review of the Minneapolis gig: amazing. It was well worth the years I waited to see this show. Forgive me if the review here gets frazzled, because it's a little hard to condense the whole thing into a couple paragraphs! To start with, here's the setlist:
I won't waste bandwidth talking about how great everything sounded, because I think you all know that already. :) The unique bits lay in the improv. They must have really been having fun, since they said they were getting self-indulgent with all the improvised material. As far as I'm concerned, that's the best kind of show to see!
One ad-lib song was about the Fine Line itself and its great service -- the tagline was to give your waiter a massive tip. :) (We did.) "Red Red Wine" turned into "Red Red Wings... they'll win the Cup...", to the massive appreciation of the guy in front of me wearing a Red Wings jersey. The Minnesota-themed banter was pretty funny, too, especially when Murray mentioned the (real!) town Little Canada: "That's where they keep all the Canadians penned in."
"King of Spain" was introduced by a briefly shocking statement: "We're Republicans. No... not in the American sense! The Australian sense!" Australia has an upcoming vote on whether or not to separate from the British empire, and the guys, shall we say, aren't exactly monarchists. They went off for a while on getting the Queen's picture off their money -- I think the best suggestion Jian had for a replacement was "Sarah McLachlan... I wish!" But, of course, "there's one ex-monarch we sorta like...."
Before one of the songs from Live Noise, they gave us a (fictionalized) explanation of what was actually live and what wasn't. Dave claimed that "we got the guys from Carmen Sandiego to do the vocals." I just cracked up at that; I've been a Rockapella fan for years! It also struck me as ironic because two days before, I'd been at Big Sing USA and heard ex-Rockapella member Sean Altman perform a song he co-wrote with Jian. I believe the title was "Ain't Your Town No More." I was hoping Moxy would perform it, but no such luck. :) It's a great song, though... let's hope it turns up in the setlists eventually!
The last number, "The Drinking Song," was performed off-mike from the balcony, where the guys gathered at the railing to sing and look out over the audience. Mike had his guitar, but it was otherwise all-vocal. I ended up front and center on the ground floor below them. Most everyone in the theatre was singing along, and it sounded absolutely amazing.
... actually, I better cut this review off, because my PowerBook's batteries are about to run out on me. :) In short -- _wonderful_ show. Out of the three-day run of concerts I just experienced, this one was way up at the top. When "life is Fruvous," life is good! :)
"Are you JennCyn?" -- Jian to me, after the show
Some other tidbits from the performance include: