Met up with James at the Baghdad for dinner; he brought me a chocolate bat from Moonstruck (with blood orange filling!) <3 Ended up drinking both my beer and his cocktail.
We wandered over to Hawthorne Theater a few minutes before six, which was when the doors were supposed to open. They let us in ~6:15... that's fifteen minutes closer to on-time than the OK Go concert, and without having to stand in the rain! :D
So the thing was less a concert and more a mini music festival. Five bands played, for five hours of rocking. Not bad for $13! Okay closer to $19 with online fees, fffff. But still!
The first band was Asteroid M, a local Portland band. They were... eh, okay. Standard guitar-bass-drums-singer line-up, and they sounded... very garage band. Lyrics screamed unintelligibly over loud guitar riffs. But they were adorable. Very friendly and silly, and the guitarist played barefoot and the bassist was wearing the same t-shirt as James and the singer was wearing a "Grandma In Training" shirt, and dear gods I want whatever it is he was on. Probably just lots of sugar. He was bouncing all over the place.
Next was Tommy & The High Pilots from Santa Barbara, California. They were even more adorable, only this time they delivered really excellent music as well. It was bouncy and fun and you could even understand some of the lyrics. Also they had the most entertaining sound check EVER. The lead singer, Tom, is GAH so cute and silly and omg I wanted so badly to kidnap him and take him home and keep him as a pet. By the end of their set they'd abducted 3/4 of Ludo to play for them. I bought their new album, and James and I want to see them again when they come back in November.
Next up was The Graduate (coo coo ca-choo?). They were pretty good; I considered buying their album but ended up not. I want to say they kind of remind me of The Arcade Fire, but I'm not sure I'm allowed to say that when the only song of theirs I've ever heard is "Wake Up." But The Graduate has that same sort of melodic epicness (epic melodicness?). Only maybe a little less so.
Finally there was There For Tomorrow from Orlando, Florida. They were all pretty sexy and dressed well, and I was pretty fond of their enthusiastic and androgynous drummer. They were okay, but they had more attitude than I felt they'd earned. Their music was mostly just a blast of loudness with unintelligible lyrics, but they were carrying on like they were rock gods, and their show came with a lot of flashing lights and a fog machine. I dunno, maybe they're big shots in Orlando, or something. And to be honest, I did really like their last song. But it probably didn't help them any that by this point we were all tired and had been standing around for hours and just wanted to see freaking Ludo already, goddammit.
Ludo finally came on to set up their instruments, bringing Tom with to play base for them. He continued to grin and bounce around and goof off and be UTTERLY ADORABLE and have fun with his sound checks. He ripped out the opening bass line to "Play That Funky Music" to laughter and cheers and boogeying from the audience. He did it again with an acoustic guitar, tour continued amusement.
The band made their official entrance to the theme from The NeverEnding Story (cue amusement/approval/cheers) then exploded directly into "Go-Getter Greg". (This song has been stuck in my head ever since.) ...Andrew is AMAZING, btw. He makes absolutely the best facial expressions, and he has a lot of energy. He and Tom have great chemistry on stage. The instruments frequently drowned out of the vocals (a pet peeve of mine), but otherwise I couldn't be more pleased.
The set was a nice mix of songs from all of their albums, including a couple off of Broken Bride - EP, which made me deliriously happy. "Lake Pontchartrain" was a religious experience, with me and everyone else in the crowd going BALLISTIC and jumping up and down and rocking out and screaming out the lyrics at the tops of our lungs. "The Horror of Our Love" was quiet and intimate, just us and Andrew and a guitar. It was absolutely beautiful. When Tom came back on stage he said, "That was pretty," in a trembling voice and then assaulted Andrew, clapping a hand over his mouth and pretending to snog him breathless.
For "Whipped Cream" they had the whole audience do the Whipped Cream Dance during the choruses. (If you'd like to know what this entails, watch the YouTube video I have so helpfully linked you to below. Let's just say for now that it involves a lot of pelvic thrusting.) Somebody in the audience wins the awesome prize for spraying silly string all over everyone in the middle of this. Apparently, though, not everyone was pleased. Andrew stopped the show a bit later to have a little talk with the silly-stringer and the girl standing next to her who flipped her off. He thought it should have been pretty well understood by everyone that silly string was fun. Angry Girl protested that "it's gross" and that she's "allergic to it". "Nonetheless," Andrew pointed out, "I'm pretty sure she never meant to hurt you. In fact, I want you to tell her that. Look her in the eye and say, 'I never meant to hurt you.'" Silly-Stringer did. "Now say, 'I understand,'" Andrew directed. Angry Girl refused. Andrew wanted the two girls to shake hands, exchange numbers, and meet later to talk over coffee and become friends. Angry Girl was having none of it. Andrew suggested that the people around Angry Girl should give her a hug, and she was instantly mobbed by like ten people. :D
The last song of the set was, of course, "Love Me Dead". For this they had us all sit down cross-legged on the floor, and the band came down amongst us and we had a little unplugged sing-along session. It was fantastic. ^_^ ...And then for the encore they did "Girls on Trampolines" and a whole bunch of the guys from the other bands came out on stage in masks or in their underwear (Tom was wearing a very sexy little dress, a white, strapless sheath) and picked up instruments or waved traffic cones around and hit things with them (I was relieved to know they would be quite safe from velociraptor attack) and generally jumped around like hooligans. This was also fantastic.
So, yeah, the show was awesome, and the small crowd made it a very friendly, intimate affair. I bought myself a Ludo t-shirt:
I immediately bought their oldest and newest albums when I got home, to complete my collection. My life is now complete.
Ludo, in 75 words or less: Music-wise and stage show-wise, Ludo is kinda like OK Go's slightly rough-around-the-edges, weird younger brother who ran away from home and picked up lyrical habits from The Decemberists, Weezer, and Jonathan Coulton. They like to sing about zombies and pirates and dinosaurs and time travel and cyborgs and robots and spaceships and lakes in Louisiana that want to eat you. If that sounds like something you'd be into, check them out.
Here, have the video for "Whipped Cream". It's hilarious.
...So I got about 3 1/2 hours of sleep last night. I had put together the perfect schedule to let me sleep as long as possible and still catch the bus. It would've worked, too, if my computer battery hadn't chosen this morning to reveal that it was failing to charge– AGAIN. I had to shut down my computer and wrap up the cord and shove it all in a bag and haul it with me– AGAIN. I missed the 64 by seconds. Caught the 12 a few minutes later to try and catch the 56 earlier in its route... missed it by seconds also. Was late to work, but sitting at the bus stop on Barbur was okay. Absolutely stunning view of the faintest sliver of moon rising rusty over Mt. Hood's silhouetted shoulder.
Caught a ride with Nicole to the Beaverton Transit Center after work to try to shave some time off of my TriMet travels. She swore she could get me there by 3:30 to catch the 76. She failed. So I waited for the WES and watched a great blue heron preen itself on the roof of a commercial building.
I had to buy a new charger. It was EXPENSIVE.
And now I am exhausted. Brb, passing the hell out now.