After spending this last week bemoaning the dearth of worthwhile upcoming shows, I proceeded to set a personal record for most expensive concert tickets purchased at roughly 11:45 a.m. today. I will be seeing my probably favorite band of all time, The Magnetic Fields, live in Town Hall on March tenth. Their shows are unique for what is, ostensibly, a pop band. Both the audience and the band are seated, sedate, barely moving. When I saw them during the Distortion tour (a much-appreciated present from my girlfriend at the time, who was also responsible for my first time seeing my other favorite band of all time, the Mountain Goats) the band went so far as to have a honest-to-goodness sofa on stage for the cellist and guitarist. There are no drums in their live sets, but there is a grand piano. It feels, considering the stage banter, more like a revue than a band concert -- which is great, considering the nature of the band. One of my favorite exchanges during the aforementioned concert happened when someone yelled out "Freebird" - inappropriate and cliche during most concerts, hilariously absurd during this one. John Woo, the guitarist, played that first elongated steel guitar note cracked the audience right up. When the laughter and applause died down, Stephin Merritt, in his virtuosic deadpan: "You realize we're going to have to pay for that now?"
I can't wait to see them again.
(Photo by Dreamyshade.)