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Michael Penn... Bunker Hill
MP on Tour...

Michael Penn & Aimee Mann in Somerville, Mass.
Saturday, Feb. 12, 2000

Well... the wait is finally over for me. Never having seen MP live before, I knew I was in for a real treat when I walked into the Somerville Theater, a small, quaint venue near Boston.

I believe all 900 seats were sold out, and from what I gathered, they were mostly occupied with Aimee Mann fans. Not that that's anything bad, I mean after all, it was her home town. While discussing that topic, people in the audience yelled out for her to leave L.A. and return here, to which she replied, "Too cold." I hear you...

The show commenced with a brief introduction of the evening's events, as described by Aimee, Michael, and the less-than-hysterical whats-his-name comedian. Let's just say that he wasn't entirely UNfunny, but he was heading that way... no thanks to his "special coffee." Aimee and Michael left the stage and he did a stand-up routine for about a half hour. A very lonnng half hour...

Aimee came on first, played a few tunes... none of which I can name for you here (sorry... not familiar with her stuff...) But for not really being an Aimee Mann fan, I must say I really enjoyed everything she played. Really easy to listen to.

She and Michael then switched off every 3 songs or so, with Mr. Funny actually being a little funny.... he took over the in-between song banter, speaking from the point of view of Aimee or Michael. That was decently funny. (Sorry if you liked him... but hey, I call it like I see it...)

Michael's set list was as follows (in this order):

  1. Out of My Hands
  2. Bunker Hill (perfect for a MA concert...)
  3. Me Around
  4. Try
  5. High Time
  6. The Whole Truth
  7. Perfect Candidate
  8. Brave New World
    • This was a riot to watch... during one verse, the bassist, Aimee, and the comedian got in Michael's face in an effort to make him mess up the words... an effort which was met with much success as Michael laughed, stopped singing, and shouted out a couple of obscenities at them... (all in good fun...)

    Two Encores:

  9. I Can Tell
  10. No Myth (Aimee and Michael tag-teamed the verses)

All his songs for the most part were boiled-down versions...minimal percussion and bass, but by no means was the music any less impactful or enjoyable. Overall, I loved the show... how could I not??? They mentioned coming back to Boston this summer... I'm all over that.

On a quasi-related note about the show... Aimee Mann was selling albums, but Michael admitted that he didn't have any being sold at the concert because his label refused to do so. Who ever heard of anything as ludicrous as not trying to sell your people? Sheesh. Give a guy a break.

The highlight of the show for me was getting to meet Michael afterwards... I couldn't imagine him being a nicer, kinder, down-to-earth guy. He's very happy with this Web site, and by george, if he's happy with it, so am I. :-) In the coming months, look for some changes to the look and feel of Bunker Hill, some new things as suggested by Michael himself. Hey... if his freaking label won't help him, we have to. We seem to care about him a bit more than they do...

— Tom Loiacono

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