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Michael Penn... Bunker Hill

Michael at "Largo" Los Angeles, CA (12/16/03)

This is an excerpt from Jake's posting on the Yahoo! PennList. Thanks to Jake for posting the report there.

'Twas MP's final appearance of 2003 Tuesday at Largo and, like last month, I felt the least I could do would be to supply a set list. Here it is (this time with the right titles... hopefully):

Now We're Even
Bucket Brigade
Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
High Time
Long Way Down
Denton Road
Me Around
Don't Let Me Go
Bad Sign
Walter Reed
I Can Tell
Brave New World

No Myth

A few tidbits about the show:

Buddy opened up again, this time only playing 2 songs, one of which being a Christmas tune that he said was probably the sappiest song he has ever written. After Buddy, Patton Oswalt did a short set of comedy, which was brilliant as always.

Patton continued to be part of the show, heckling MP as three separate characters throughout the evening... White Trash Patriotic American, Nerdy Michael Penn fan (that's us!), and Goth Guy.

Much of the White Trash character consisted of continually requesting "that black pants song," which only got funnier with each request. This character also had little patience for MP's guitar tuning after every song, shouting out, "Just set it for kick-ass rock'n'roll and let's go." Another gem from this character was, "Play that one I like to lift to."

When Michael finally did play "No Myth," Patton chose a perfect moment to exclaim, in character, "Oh man, I was in the bathroom." Michael was laughing so much during the show that he had to pause a moment before starting each song just to make sure he wouldn't crack up while singing. Another tuning comment was, "Set the guitar back to searing, introspective lyrics."

MP introduced a song as being new, to which Patton's white trash character shouted, "Is it 'Black Pants'?" "It's new," Michael replied. "Oh," said Patton, "I thought you were tricking us."

Patton actually moved around the room to play the different characters. The nerdy MP fan was stationed near the door. "I'm from," Patton started, "I'm updating the lunch section of the site. Yesterday you ate lunch at (actual restaurant name I don't remember) on Hillhurst and you ordered a Capri Salad, I just need to know how many olives you left uneaten in your Capri Salad." Michael hesitated. "Come on, I need to know, I've got to update the site!" Michael settled on four.

Michael's comedic highlights came during "Brave New World" when he interrupted the song to share the symbolic significance of "The Wizard of Oz" and then completely lost his place in the song, only to have to start the tune over completely because he can only remember the lyrics in context with that song. There were at least two or three other moments where he got completely lost, which only endeared him more to his adoring audience. Buddy chimed in during the song to ask if he would like to stop and add any more amusing anecdotes... once again MP lost his place.

Michael seemed to have a great time performing... probably more so than the last show. I think having Patton there really ups his spirits while on stage. He doesn't feel the pressure to have banter and be any more entertaining than his songs, which is always plenty enough for the Largo crowds.

That's about all I've got. As Michael said during the show, "Everybody have a happy Christmas and Hanukah... happy holidays everybody..." To which Patton, with perfect timing shouted, "Hello... Kwanzaa."


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