Annnd once again, the fabulous Tour Spirits brought Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven to NYC within days of my birthday (last year: 3 days after. this year: 2... and in 2009: CVB a few days before). Praise those spirits! This tradition is good! My tickets were purchased before it was announced that CVB would be performing their album, Key Lime Pie in it's entirety, & Cracker would be taking on all of Kerosene Hat. That's pretty cool, but I was a little afeared that this sort of completely limited the setlists. So much for getting to hear Guarded By Monkeys live this winter.
When my friend Heidi got wind of the gig, which fell a few days before her bday-- giant CVB fan that she is-- she decided to come all the way down from Ithaca for it! That's dedication! This created some sort of Lynn-CVB/Cracker-Heidi-Birfday Sammich if you will. The bacon is implied.
Pregame was at Park NYC, w/ many mojitos. I didn't take out my camera. "Too drunk, too drunk." - Pickles the Drummer
Only because it can be confusing (am I missing anyone?):
Camper Van Beethoven: David Lowery, Frank Funaro, Victor Krummenacher, Jonathan Segel, Greg Lisher, David Immerglück (sometimes)
Cracker: David Lowery, Johnny Hickman, Frank Funaro (since '96), Sal Maida (since 2006), Kenny Margolis (sometimes), David Immerglück (sometimes)
We got to the Highline a few minutes after Camper Van Beethoven hit the stage. The place was freakin' packed! Heidi and I abandoned the boys in the back to make our way up front on al.side (stage right). Heidi looked like a kid in a candy store. Key Lime Pie is one of her favorite albums, so she was glowing (with joy).
CVB moved masterfully through the tracks. Loud, live, rock. Great chemistry and sweet sound. I love watching them play! Highlights for me were When I Win The Lottery, All Her Favorite Fruit, & Pictures of Matchstick Men (because Jonathan Segel is awesome^). Eye of Fatima (also a huuuge highlight) and Take the Skinheads Bowling were nice bonuses to end the CVB set.
With at least a 10:1 ratio, there was no line for the women's bathroom during setbreak. Little known perks at a Cracker show.
We dragged our runnin' crew up front for Kerosene Hat. Cracker took the stage. Johnny Hickman was wearing all white and as always, owning it! All class! They rocked Kerosene Hat. A few tracks were swapped here and there, but they did it all- right down to the weirdness that is Hi-Desert Biker Meth Lab (played on a laptop).
David Lowery's glasses kept slipping down his nose throughout the show. When they would get down towards the bottom, with the big fuzzy beard, it kind of made him look like Jim Gaffigan and Wilford Brimley had a giant ginger love child. Aww.
I love Cracker the way Heidi loves Camper Van Beethoven. I crave Cracker shows and get positively giddy when they come to town. They were loud, brash, and awesome. Everything Cracker should be. Highlights: Movie Star, Infirmary, Goodbyes, Lonesome Johnny Blues, Loser...
This was the part of the show where Johnny Hickman turned into a pure beam of energy.
and this is the part of the show where he reveals that he is either a dragon or it’s very cold onstage—check out the fog coming out of his mouth!
And by far the Best Rock Moment of the night was Ride My Bike -> a massively heavy, dark, & intense Interstellar Overdrive--- in which Cracker Van Beethoven^^ totally fucking KILLED it -> Ride My Bike. SHA-ZAM! Get these guys back to moe.down, because they are melting faces! Wow wow wow!
For the encore, David (on acoustic) and Johnny came out as a duo and twice attempted to play a song from Lowery's upcoming solo album (available in February-- download a preview, the song Palace Guards, on David Lowery's website) only to bail on it awkwardly. Apparently not quite ready for prime time yet. Lowery told the crowd to just buy the record (okay!) and quickly started the timeless bromance ballad, Friends. Many people in the audience were singing along. It was like ending the night with a warm hug from both of them. Aww, metaphorical rockstar hugs.
It was cool to hear both albums, cute theme/gimmick- but I'm really glad there were some bonus songs at the end of each set to mix it up a little bit. It would have felt kinda flat without the additions. Who doesn't like rainbow sprinkles, yah?
Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker, in a Lynn-CVB/Cracker-Heidi-Birfday Sammich. Awesome! 8.5 HUZZAHS!! Points deducted for no Guarded By Monkeys!
Thanks and high-fives to 4dice & Heidi for coming down from Ithaca for the fun! Hardcoooore! Blue Ribbon Award to Mark for making it through both sets! He was feeling tired but I knew he had the good fight in him!
**THE GOLD STAR AWARDS** to both Hern and Mark for picking a pile of garbage off my windshield, which is apparently what happens when you park right next to the PJ's in a perfectly non-trash-covered car. Chivalry ain't dead. Had they not been there, I would have used a combination of my wipers and a telescoping ice-scraper to fling it all aimlessly into the street, but Hern removed the yellow meat (chicken?) styrofoam and Mark picked up a white styrofoam cup by the rim- with their bare hands!! Luckily, The Gold Star Awards come with both handi-wipes & a tall boy of Cipro. Thanks, guys! Totes brave!
CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN, Key Lime Pie
When I Win The Lottery
(I Was Born In A) Laundromat
The Light From A Cake
All Her Favorite Fruit
The Humid Press of Days
Pictures of Matchstick Men
Come On Darkness
Eye Of Fatima
Take The Skinheads Bowling
DOWNLOAD THE SHOW! Thanks, Barry Shoop! http://www.archive.org/details/CVB2011-01-14
CRACKER, Kerosene Hat (w/ NYC Cracker Staple Kenny Margolis)
Get Off This
Take Me Down To The Infirmary
Sick Of Goodbyes
I Want Everything
Lonesome Johnny Blues
Let's Go For A Ride
Hi-Desert Meth Lab
I Ride My Bike ->
Interstellar Overdrive# ->
I Ride My Bike
New David Lowery Solo Song Attempt
# w/ Segel, Immerglück, Lisher, and Krummenacher (who traded out with Sal Maida)
% w/ David Lowery (acoustic) & Johnny Hickman
DOWNLOAD THE SHOW! Thanks, Barry Shoop! http://www.archive.org/details/Cracker2011-01-14
^ In the words of our little Munsch friend last year, "Hey Violin Guy, play the violin!"
^^ Cracker Van Beethoven began with the -> Interstellar Overdrive, when Segel, Immerglück, Lisher, and Krummenacher (who traded out with Sal Maida) got back onstage.