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I'm unable to really talk about the show that I saw this past April without talking about when I first heard The Wedding Present's album Bizarro. By the way, I'm going to sprinkle some pictures I took at the show. I apologize for the quality but the Canon SD1000 is terrible at higher ISO levels and has a stupidly slow shutter. So, you'll see more than a few pictures that may look grainy or with a lot of blur in them. I blame the camera. Also, due to where I was standing in the club, the other guitarist to Gedge's right was pretty much behind one of the house PA speakers for me. In any case...

The Wedding Present at the 400 Bar, Minneapolis (2010-04-17)

It was the Fall of 1990. I was in my first year at Saint Olaf College. From the moment I'd heard Bizarro blasting out of my friend's room across the hall in our dorm, I was smitten with the band.

How smitten? There's an old Wedding Present FAQ kicking around on the web. It's actually from the USENET news group "alt. music.alternative" which I participated in pretty frequently when I was in college. In any case, if you go down to item "Q2.2 Where can I get TWP information on the net?", you'll see a mention of an old mailing list called "weddoes@stolaf.edu". I started that list and ran it until I left school. Yes. Big time nerd. LOL.

The Wedding Present at the 400 Bar, Minneapolis (2010-04-17)

So, fast forward to now. When I read via the band's e-mail list (you can find it if you go to their website) that they were going to be performing Bizarro in its entirety live for its 20th anniversary, I was ecstatic. I hadn't really seen them play during the early-90s. And, while I had seen them a couple of times, I'd never heard them play any of the material from this period. So, there was no way I was going to miss this show.

I'd been following the progress of the tour via the band's Twitter feed and Terry De Castro's tour diary so I had a rough idea of what to expect.

The Wedding Present at the 400 Bar, Minneapolis (2010-04-17)

On the night of, I went over to a friend's house to hang out for a bit before we headed to the show. I tweeted to the effect that we were headed over to the club and was pleasantly surprised to get a reply tweet from Gedge that we were going to miss the opener. Ha!

In any case, we got there in time to catch the last couple songs for the supporting band (I can't recall their name now, sorry). Then had a beer while we waited for the Wedding Present to start. In the meantime, I managed to buy a t-shirt (to be shipped to me, out of my size) and a copy of the Bizarro reissue which was based on the UK version of the album with some of the songs from associated EPs added on. (BTW, nice to hear the stuff remastered!) I even managed to get it signed by Gedge before he had to get on stage.

Reissued "Bizarro" signed by Gedge!

The set list for the evening was as follows (any "??" indicate songs that I was unfamiliar with):

1. Queen of Outer Space
2. Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft
3. ??
4. ??
5. ??
6. Corduroy
7. ??
8. Brassneck
9. Crushed
10. No
11. Thanks
12. Kennedy
13. What Have I Said Now?
14. Granadaland
15. Bewitched
16. Take Me!
17. Be Honest

Hearing "Corduroy" live was awesome. It's probably one of my all-time favorite WP songs. Once they started into playing the album proper, Gedge started breaking strings. I counted at least 4 (and I think there were probably more). And, the rest of the band were superb, too. As usual, no encore. But, hey, I knew that going in. Besides, it must be crazy tiring to play Bizarro night after night since so may of the songs were from their "faster" period. Especially "Take Me!" which clocks in at 9 minutes or something like that.

The Wedding Present at the 400 Bar, Minneapolis (2010-04-17)

I think because of how, when, and how frequently I heard this album, it seemed like every nuance to every song was burned into my memory. And, even though I hadn't listened to this particular album in, I would guess, 5 or more years, I still could remember nearly every lyric and how Gedge sang pretty much every song. Hearing this album live definitely took me back 20 years.

It was a great night. And, I keep hoping that they'll do the same for Seamonsters when it hits a milestone anniversary of its release. Seeing that album performed live would be ridiculously awesome. (Hint, hint, to Mr. Gedge if he should read this...)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 12th, 2010 11:28 pm (UTC)
You know, even if I don't know that band, I do like when bloggers write down the play list. It has absolutely no value to me or a casual reader but it lets me know that the writer is a fan. Did you ever "steal" the list off the stage?
May. 13th, 2010 01:00 am (UTC)
I haven't taken the set list off the stage. But, I have been with people who have. :-)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )