I know you're all waiting for me to review the Fiery Furnaces show. How are you supposed to know how you felt about it until I tell you how I felt about it? I give this show six glands up (which glands, though?). I frontloaded at Mike Banana's birthday gala, so my glands were already pretty well lubricated before I got to Harlows. OK, no more gland jokes, but it's such a funny word! Harlow's was OK. Not as fancy as I expected, but I guess the real fanciness happens upstairs. I ordered champagne and it was good. I didn't pay much attention to the first band. One of the songs started out with a Fleetwood Mac style part and I got excited but then the guy started singing and he sounded nothing like Stevie Nicks so I tuned out again.
Before the show there was a lot of discussion about whether they would play a continuous medley the way they usually do. Everyone was fervently hoping that they would not. This is a real drag. There is a certain amount of driving, nervous engergy creating by the medley thing, but it is still irritating and allows for zero audience interaction. We couldn't get a chant in edgewise. I saw the highly theatrical drummer (you have to see it, it's hard to describe) circulating in the audience beforehand. He was limping and I later heard that he had sprained his ankle playing soccer in Sac. Apparently the whole band had been hanging out in Sac for a day or more without anyone spotting them. I wish I had run into them. I'm sure we would have ended up being best friends. I wore my gold Star of David so that the light would glint off of it while the F.F.s were playing and then me and the Friedburger brother would lock eyes and the rest would be history...but that didn't happen. Eleanor was also watching the opening act for a bit. She was dressed very Billyburg hipster, with brown cowboy boots outside the tighttight pants, and a truly hideous relic of the eighties that was made of leather and that I hesitate to call a "jacket". (addendum-of course she's still insanely foxy.)
As the Fiery Furnaces were tuning up and getting ready (except for Eleanor who always makes a dramatic entrance after the music has started) D.P. spotted their Kaoss pad and started chanting "Kaoss pad" (of course). Matt congratulated him for spotting it. Then the funniest thing ever happened. For you to understand how funny it was you have to know Mike C. and you have to know how standoffish and humorless the Fiery Furnaces can seem. Mike C. came up to me and some other people and said that he had run into Matt in the bathroom, and that he had said that they wouldn't play a medley if we all chanted "no more medleys". He didn't say it that loud, and the band was tuning, so I wouldn't have guessed in a million years that they could hear us up on the stage. But, quick as lightning, Matt shot back, "I never said that". Did that come off funny? No? Well what if one of my glands was narrating it, would that be funnier?
God, I have been writing this for like an hour because I keep getting interrupted and having to pretend I'm actually doing something, so now I'm tiring of the whole sordid affair. Suffice to say, the Fiery Furnaces were stupendous, spectacular, and awe-inspiring. They could have medleyed for a million years and I wouldn't have cared. They did throw us a non-medley bone at the end and just Matt and Eleanor played a few songs, some of them new, and they sounded great. One of my favorite shows ever. I got the set list at the end and it's crazy. There are at least 25 songs on it and it has stuff like "blueberry boat-verse 1 and 2" and then 8 songs later "blueberry boat-verse 3 and 4".