I saw them last night and in a paraell universe they would be crap... but in this universe with all the B.S. that is passed off as music or sound I must say that Mr. Bungle is simply incredible. It was the strangest thing I have ever seen but it was so interesting and different.
The drunk dildoheads really got on my nerves... one of the highlights of the night was when some drunk bastard was yelling during a long drawn out piece with no lyrics. Many were trying to concentrate on it but the fool kept yelling until someone screamed, "Shut the f--- up!" Everyone applauded and the guy kept his mouth shut but minutes later so jerk started spouting off the mouth.
I took a friend to the show and she had never heard anything from Bungle before. She was in complete awe. As were most of the folks there. If you aren't open minded and not interested in the expansion of music, don't go to see them. But if you want to expirement with some new, you must see Bungle.
They were also hilarious. They had some dude introduce Bungle. He was playing the part of a pro wrestling manager. He came out and berated Philadelphia (thank you!) and then intoduced Bungle from, "Parts Unknown! At a weight unknown! I give to you - MR. BUNGLE!" And then the crowd popped.
Patton was awesome... at first I was bummed he didn't take his mask off but as I watched the show I realized that the mask added to the show. It was like watching a mass murderer sing on stage. It was awesome! I especially liked during one song when Patton started breathing and contorting like an old man.
A lot of people were bummed that they only played one song off the previous album but the whole point of Bungle from what I gather is to not please the fans or the industry. Just to get together and do whatever they feel.
BTW, is that guy really the road manager? I sure hope he is not because I really want to see Bungle again.
How to start.....
The Trocadero is the best thing to ever happen to me. It was on this past Tuesday the 28th of November that things went so well for me. To start things off, I must tell you about my mood. On Saturday the 25th, Hal and I were really mellow. We didn't get too worked up about seeing Mr. Bungle at all until we were almost right outside the club. After that performance (sorry for that exhaustive review, this one will probably be the same way), I was so excited. I was literally giddy for this show all day Tuesday. I was in such an awesome mood the whole drive down.
First of all, this line is for Stefan. There is no way I could have taped the show. I have never in my life seen such checking of items by bouncers. It was equivalent to what the cops do when you get in deep shit. Hand up, patted everything, felt every last thing in your pockets. i don't think I could have made it through the doors with a swiss army knife nevertheless a recorder or mic. Okay, I get to the ticket office and ask for my backstage pass. The lady gave me some wristband thingee....So we went inside, and it was about 6:30. Since Melt Banana wasn't to come on until maybe 7, I thought I would go backstage and say hi. First step, three huge ass bouncers in my path. I pull out this thing that the lady behind the office gave me. They interrogate me where I got it, etc. Finally after a few questions, they put it around my wrist (i wasn't even sure it was a wristband until they put it on me). They then basically said i have all access to anything (god, I felt like I was someone or something). Now the scary part. Here I am, this little 19 year old college fuck, walking through the door to the backstage to say hi to a band who has no clue who I am, getting my pass from someone whose face I had never even seen. (the promo pic from ten years ago doesn't count). So what to do......Look to find Danny, shouldn't be too bad, he is bald I have heard. I am so scared at this point. The last thing I wanted to do was intrude or impose myself, and I knew I would since I had no clue what I was even looking for. Okay, I pass through the door, and nothing. Just the stage on the right and vast empty space. I have no clue even where to go.
There is steps in the back. I think that is where I should go (really, there is no one around, I am surprised). I walk up the steps. Bingo! This is where I want to be. A couple of different rooms here. The first room has all of Melt Banana, with Patton talking to someone in the doorway. I take a look in here. No, Danny is not here, I will move on. The next room is on the left. Lots of clarinets and saxophones and stuff in here. Must be Bar and Theo's room to keep stuff. Okay, no one here. Stop for a minute to gather myself (i really did not want to impose, nor did I want to seem like a dorky fan, it was hard for me to initially just try and be myself). One last room. There are people in here. Just take one step in, I see Trey and Willie. There are a couple of other people who i don't know. Some guy with a beard, and one or two other long-haired people. Still no Danny I think. Okay, I now retreat to the Bar and Theo's room and just try and decide what to do. Danny is seemingly not back there, and he is the one who put me on the list. I can't just impose myself on the festivities. Okay, no clue what to do. I walk back into the room with Patton and Melt Banana (i felt Patton and Melt Banana give me a look-didn't know who I was or what I was doing there). Some guy comes up and asks Mike where Trey is, Mike says he thinks in the back room, and then i say that I just saw him there. I then turn to Mike, and I say "Mike, do you know where Danny is?" Mike says he isn't sure, but leads me into the back room and says Danny, there is someone here to see you. [relief swells over me].
Okay, Danny is not too bad, but his hair is shaved pretty close to the head, and Danny has this huge curly beard! I was not expecting anything like that at all! I had never heard anything about his having a beard! Well, I introduced myself, and after a brief second or so, Danny knew who I was! One of the first things I told him was how Hal and I were yelling Mookie at the Limelight up in NYC. He knew that it was us! That was cool. I then started asking him a few questions about the band (i think we talked about the band first, then baseball, but it could be the other way around). Here are the interesting notes that I can think of. First of all, that one song is an Italian song (the one I had previously labeled as a Spanish Rhumba). He told me the composer or something, but i really cannot remember it. It wasn't one of those easy words. It started with a "T" if that helps at all. Maybe it is Troviojoli from the Limelight show? But I thought that that was one of the other songs. We also talked a little bit about the song Mukerjee that they have been playing. i commented how their seemed to be a lot of people in Philly donning FNM stuff and how I thought that that was kind of lame (i will then get into the fans at the show, it was worse than you would think). He said yeah, how they were totally a different thing, and when I mentioned something about people expecting stuff from the old album, we talked about that a bit too. How they like the new stuff and how the old stuff just doesn't sound like them anymore (it isn't their personality at the moment). He called the tour the "They're as old as we were tour." referring to the fact that he is now 31, and how a bunch of the band members are now the age that Danny and ? were on the last tour. Laughed about that for a while. I had to ask him how old he was, because I could not remember, and at first glance 31 would not be my guess. Then somehow we got to talk about the cover art of the album. He told me almost the whole story about the back cover. It is a John Peterson picture. They only paid $250 to use it. Basically they saw the picture wherever and the Jacques Costeau people would not allow Mr. Bungle in any way shape or form to use the material. Then, on pure coincedence, they called up National Geographic to maybe find out who it was. It turned out it was this John Peterson person who lives in Marietta or Lancaster (oh, that's how the subject came up, when he asked, I told him that I went to college in Lancaster and then he started talking about this picture). So they contacted Peterson and he let them use it for a fairly nominal sum. He went on to mention that the front cover only cost the band $500 to use, which we both thought was a pretty fair price, too. I think then our conversation switched on to baseball. He opened up his old brown overstuffed wallet and pulls something out to show to me. Believe it or not, this guy has a Mookie Wilson calling card!!!! It actually isn't Mookie Wilson's, but I guess when he got a card, the person asked if he would like to sign up his spouse or whatever, so Danny gave them all of Mookie Wilson's information. So that was pretty neat. We talked about baseball for a long while, nothing that would interest most of you. He went on to say that the mask he wore was made up of baseball cards, and that most people didn't believe it. He just velcroed the baseball cards onto this old hat, and he has worn it at every show for a while. We talked a lot about baseball and cities. Was pretty neat. A little later some guy came around and handed each band member a ten. Maybe for food or whatever. Then, Patton, Trevor, and Willie came over and were talking with us. Talked about going out for some food. Danny introduced me to the guys. Mike and I got into a nice little discussion about cheese steaks and water ice (pronounced waata ice, of course). We were laughing on how Philadelphia is such a town that people write graffiti saying "Cheesesteak" on the bathroom walls. I guess you had to be there.....But we were talking about that for a while. Trevor was writing on the paneling. Making fun of Willie. Something like he sucks someone (i forget who). Oh yeah, talking of Willie, he seemed drunk. He ws nursing a beer, and his eyes seemed a little wobbly. Not a smashed alcoholic drunker, but he seemed to be feeling the effects a bit. And when he came to the group, he related this story that he had spilled a beer all over the floor of the stage. Seemed that he had a beer on the tympanny and it got knocker over. They were all ragging on him then. But after we talked about food a bit, Mike brought out this little notebook with a tiny scribbled set list. They were going over it, changing stuff around, etc. It was at this point that I felt slightly awkward, so I shaked Danny's hand and headed out.
Oh yeah, just remembered this (about halfway through the review). When Danny and I were talking about his mask. Oh, I didn't even mention it at all. Danny was telling me how his mask was made up of just a bunch of baseball cards. He said that most people were surprised when he told them that. Oh yeah, as if it matters, I think I asked about masks or he brought it up or whatever. He told me that the only one who really brought masks with him on the tour was Trey, who had a suitcase full of them. The others just threw together whatever was around, which is why some of the masks/costumes don't seem to be so intricate this time around. Okay, back to the review....
It was maybe 6:45 when I headed out, and Melt Banana was supposed to come on at 7. They didn't get on until 7:30ish. As a note here, at maybe quarter after 7, Danny walked out from backstage and was going up front somewhere. Anyway, I tapped him on the shoulder and nodded my head and he smiled. I think the funny thing was here he was walking through the entire crowd, and I do not think a single soul had any clue who he was besides myself. (of course, I had no clue what he looked like only 30 minutes ago, so......) But I chuckled, and pointed him out to my girlfriend.
Melt Banana came on. They had a good set I think. I really liked their bass player. I do not think I liked the vocals too much. I think they were rather repetitive and similar throughout the set. And pretty loud, too! The lead singer's English was broken, and I think the audience was fairly unkind to the band. I don't know much about their set list. They tried to do a lot of self-promotion up on stage. They mentioned having a new album coming out in March. The lead singer got confused when people in the audience started to ask her about cd's....she didn't seem to understand the term. I bought the 7" myself. It seems pretty cool, though i have not yet listened to it. I think I liked a lot of their sound, but to me there was too much transition from one musical style to another in seemingly each song. A lot of it was too unpredictable to me. One song that may have started somewhat mellow ended up as a deathmetal screamfest. That was my abbreviated impression of the band. Again, the crowd was not too into it. As at the Limelight, the lead singer took a picture of the crowd before heading off.
Mr. Bungle came on a little later. Once again they came out randomly to tune, place, and make their instruments right. They came out at maybe 9, I don't know exactly when, but it was early. The first person that came on was the announcer of the Troc, totally decked out calling the audience a bunch of pansy assholes, etc. He was dressed as a pro wrestling manager and told us how we were going to get our asses whoope or something. He then said "From places unknown, at a weight unknown, MR. BUNGLE!". WOW! Their costumes were Incredible! The Limelight paled in comparison mask/costumewise. Willie I don't think wore anything, though he may have had a black hood on, I think he did, actually. Danny still had the black hood, baseball card covered hat on. Trevor still went with the no holes in it black hood over his face mask. I still think it is amazing that he can play that way. Mike wore a mask this time. It was a black hood with eyeholes and a mouth hole in it. It was okay. Trey had on one of those plastic masks. I don't know how to describe it, one of those professional ones, sort of like a Phantom of the Opera mask or something? Anyway, it covered the upper half of his head, and the mask had sunglasses on it. It really was neat looking. Now what did Theo wear? Umm.....i am drawing a blank here. Okay, he had just jeans and a shirt with a black hood. Bar's mask was incredible. Now remember that this is the first time I have ever seen this guy except for videos. He was the perfect Hare Krishne. His robe/costume was just incredible. It looked almost like out of a martial arts movie. Was very wide on his arms and legs, like it is supposed to be. And his hair was great, too. It went along perfectly with the costume. It was shaved, except for a portion in the middle, top of the head which flowed back in a little ponytail type of thing. His haircut reminded me of a skater haircut. Anyway, he looked like a total awesome Hare Krishne demigod or something. It was incredible. So maybe you would like to know what they played. Well I got my hand on an official set list again, so here ya go:
- "Cold World" (Siege)
- Chemical Marriage
- "Love In Space" (Peter Thomas)
- Ma Meeshka Mow Skwoz
- "I Sin For A Living" (The Meatmen) (sax)
- "Muscoli Di Velluto" (Ennio Morricone)
- The Bends - Aqua Swing (trombone)
- Travolta (sax)
- "Love Dance of the Saroos" (Joe Meek)
- The Bends - Panic In Blue (clari/flute)
- Carry Stress In The Jaw (bari)
- Desert Search For Techno Allah
- "Let Me Out"
- "Der Zinker" (Peter Thomas)
- After School Special (flute)
- "Everybody's Working For The Weekend" (Loverboy) in parantheses, it looks like "(red bands)"
(all the other parantheses were added by me)
- Phlegmatics (clarinet)
- ? (Mukerjee)
This was the set list. The stuff on the left is the heavy black magic marker stuff. The stuff on the right is what either Theo or Bar added in in pen. It had to be theirs, that is where I got the set list from. The songs were Great! I was so happily surprised to see them play so many songs that they had no played at the Limelight! Though I did miss that Italian Rhumba piece starting with a T that they played at the Limelight....Techno Allah really went over well. I truly loved the sound of After School Special. It sounded so neat and ominous. They pulled that one of nearly perfectly! Loved the way he incorporated the "You lied to me" bits into the song. Just had a great sound to them. Was kind of hoping that Mike would do the part at the end, but he did not. I really liked most of the tracks off of the album. They all had a good solid sound to them. A lot of the other songs/noise were slow and repetitive. Like the band would just be up there playing stuff and it took you a couple of seconds to realize that it was a song, and not just fucking with the instruments for a soundcheck or whatever. I liked Mukerjee, not as much as the other time I saw it. Nice slow jazzy sound to it, a good song. Don't think I would finish up with it, but it was characteristic of the night. Loverboy was a neat song again. It is really cool whenever Mike seems to play that he always adds in comments and seems to be Joe Cheese up there on stage singing this song. It is great! There were a lot of slower pieces. And it was talented respectable music, too. A lot of slow numbers that were very comfortable and relaxing. Nothing spectacular, but diverse and complicated music that I found to be pleasing. And they played parts of The Bends every now and then between songs. I really enjoyed that. i think that portions of The Bends made a very good transitional piece between songs. The set was amazing. Not only were the songs of the new album great, but all of the various covers sat over very well with me. It was enjoyable music to see performed live. And Travolta was good, too. i almost think that they have that song down to a t. They really have that song exactly how it should be. I missed hearing Everybody I went to High School with is Dead. Not that it is my favorite song, but it just seemed to sit so well as the finishing number at the Limelight. Good powerful noise. I did not notice Patton watching Trey as much for cues this time around. Don't know why. Maybe it was because I was in the back, or maybe it was because he had a mask on, either way it was not real obvious. He still was pretty cool with all the different microphones and voices that he used. Truly provides for some great effects.
Uggghhh, I guess I should talk about the audience now. What a bunch of assholic, immature FUCKWITS. It was truly distracting and anal. Zena, I bet that Chicago paled in comparison to this load of crap. First off, I must have seen at least a dozen or two of fans come in with FNM stuff on. Now, I really do not even mind that. What someone wears, though maybe inappropriate, is at least tolerable. Maybe 500 people were there? i can't tell exactly. It did not sell out (despite the $10 ticket price, i think the cheapest on the tour). Well, inbetween songs, as I said, they played a lot of mellow quiet music. Here, let me list the requests:
- "Carousel" a few times
- "Love is a Fist" a few times
- "Epic" five times shouted out during near silence
- "Falling to Pieces" once, right after a song ended
- "As the Worm Turns" gee, this was almost amusing.
- "Midlife Crisis" once
It was so horrible. The fans were such utter complete assjerks (i have never used that word before). There was once this shouting match of someone upstairs (the upstairs was a bar area where you could watch down on the show) with the guy upstairs shouting out FNM titles, and someone downstairs either shouting other FNM titles back, or someone else saying shut the fuck up. It was really juvenile. I was almost embarrased to be a fan with those jerkoffs. It got so bad that Trevor was prompted to flick off the enitre crowd for a good solid minute or two. Just standing up there giving us all the finger. It was unbelieveable. I hated the fans there with a passion.
Well, they sold different stuff this time. They sold two Mr. Bungle t-shirts. The one has the album cover in a deep rich blue on the front of it with the words Disco Volante on the bottom of the reverse side of the shirt. The other shirt had a neat picture on the back. Looks like a mother spanking her son or something like that (very vague picture, made with dots and no defined lines, etc.) Just black and white dots. I don't even know what is on the front of that one. Just a little box with something in it. No clue what it is. They sold the underwear, Melt Banana t-shirts and 7"'s, and two Mr. Bungle stickers. Unfortunately I lost the stickers I got, maybe they are the same ones that Windy sent out to people? i do not know. Anyway, the shirts were different than the ones I have seen described and the ones at the Limelight. They also had a little note "selling" some other things. There were three, and I forget two of them, but one of them was "Play doctor with Theo..............$75.00" It was pretty amusing.
After everything was said and done, I headed backstage again. i left my girlfriend in the lobby as the ushers assured me she could stay there while I was backstage (she unfortunately did not have a pass). So i went backstage. There was this really tall dude there. Hal, I sware it was that tall guy in leather that we saw in Upper Darby. Anyway, Patton was talking with him for a bit. He was as kind as he could be to the two girls that the guy was with. After a little while, one of the bouncers came up to Patton and said that there was some older woman who claimed to be an old friend of his who was out there to see him. Patton pursed his lips, laughed and said that that sounded kind of ominious. That was the end of that. After standing to the side while they were breaking the equipment down, Danny called me on over and I talked to him for a while while he was packing up his equipment. We talked about the show a bit, and i told him how I thought it compared with the Limelight. He said that he thought the sound at the Limelight was pretty bad and that he really didn't like it there. We talked about baseball for awhile then. We discussed his hat/mask a little more and we talked about the players on the baseball cards. It was pretty neat. I also made sure to say hi for Star and Zena. Danny obviously remembered you both. Danny enjoyed going out to eat with you, Zena. And I think Danny was also looking forward to seeing you again Star. He mentioned that he had only really met you once despite how you have kept in touch with him. So we talked about the both of you for a while, nothing important. After a while, I left him to go say hi to Theo (i had up to this point been a little unsure how to introduce myself to him as well). So I went up, and he and Bear were back in their little room putting their equipment away. I said "Hi Theo, I don't know if you remember me, but I am Marc" After about a second or two pause while we shook hands, he said "Schoenen? Yeah, I remember you" So that was really cool, I would never have expected that. The three of us were talking for a while. Bar started out by asking my if I had any Neosporin. Unfortunately, no. But I was talking about the show awhile. We got on to talking about the Limelight, and I said that it was a really neat place. And they were both said that it was a neat looking place but they hated it. Seems that Bar left between songs to go take a piss, and they wouldn't let him back on stage! So that explains why they were so pissed off about that show. They really seemed to be treated like shit there. We were talking about Hare Krishnes for awhile. I suggested that Bar get some of those books that they always hand out in D.C. It was a lot of fun talking to the both of them. It was amazing what an easy going guy Bar was. And Theo was really nice, too. I was pleasantly surprised that he remembered me. After talking with the both of them for a little while, I left.
As a side note, and depressing end to the story, as soon as i walked out front of the stage it turns out that the fuckwit bouncers threw Lisa out into the cold rain all alone while I was backstage. Really was a depressing end to the night, but nothing I can do about that now.
The show was superb. Hanging out with Danny and Theo was just great. I know that Danny told Windy that I was a little shy. And I was a little intimidated to be back there not knowing anybody. I would have been tons more comfortable if I had a friend with me backstage (kind of like you, Hal). But it was a great experience. If you have read this far, i apologize about its length....