i went and saw dan and matt wilson perform last night. they’re the brothers wilson that made up trip shakespeare along with john munson and elaine harris. after the show, i watched them get mobbed by fans who had last seen them 20 years ago. it was so crazy. people jumping up to get their picture taken with them; throwing old trip shakespeare memorabilia in their faces with sharpies.
the show had gotten a very late start due to their instruments not arriving on time (1) and so they didn’t really have much time before the next show was to start. they were trying so desperately to get out of the room before the next show started, and some of these people were so desperately trying to get their attention and share moments with these men — to regain some of their youth and to share their old days with them.
it was weird, though, because it was getting sort of fever pitch there for a minute. i was trying to get to a garbage or something, and i literally couldn’t get past some of these people. i was hoping to talk to them for a second, but it was clear i wasn’t going to get a word in edgewise with the crowd that was swarming them, so i decided to cut my losses and head for the door. i was really surprised at the intensity with which these people were accosting them, but i guess everyone does things in their own way.
i’ve always said that i’m not one to be ‘starstruck,’ but i guess it’s because i feel like when i meet people i respect and admire, i want to be considered their equals. i want to feel like i have a shot at maybe hanging out with them, getting to know them, becoming their friend. maybe that’s equally crazy or arrogant or whatever, but that’s always been my notion, i think. i don’t want a picture with them, i want a conversation with them. i don’t want them to sign something (2), i want to talk with them about their art and the things that are important to them. i’d rather have a setlist and a bunch of pictures of them performing than my record signed and a picture of them *with* me. i know *i* was there. i want documentation of how *they* were there.
i really like them. they are very smart (harvard educated), and quick with banter and metaphor that is usually pretty whimsical, yet very insightful. they are lighthearted and playful (with the audience and with each other), yet there is often a slightly sarcastic/mocking edge to their wit that is also much appreciated as well. not too cynical, not too fluffy. just right, goldilocks, just right.
it was a great night for music and a great night to see them play — they have so many amazing songs, they could have played for eight hours and maybe they could have satiated the crowd’s requests. i hope they consider doing things like this more often. there’s definitely the audience for it.
(1) i didn’t understand why they were renting instruments. just because it would have been crazy to be bringing 5 different instruments … on a plane? they flew down, perhaps, not drove? not sure.
(2) if i *do* have people sign things, i like to have them sign unusual things that relate to songs of theirs. i had rhett miller sign a copy of ‘catcher in the rye’ for ‘rollerskate skinny’ and an el card for ‘the el.’ i also had dan wilson sign a ‘birds of america’ book for ‘turtledove.’ that wasn’t last night, but he DID sing turtledove last night. yay.