Unsurprisingly, the Thermals were excellent last night (and Arthur & Yu were charming, and Coconut Coolouts were maybe the most ridiculous but fun band I've seen all year). The striking thing about the Thermals is that it's really just the three of them on stage. Hardly any gear at all, which is a rare commodity. It seems like everyone brings along a melodica or a keyboard or a bank of electronics or a dwarf guitar for character these days. The audience, of course, went wild. I stood on the periphery of the teeming pit of moshing teenagers, partly because I brought a camera and also because I didn't really feel like getting knocked senseless.
My most favorite part of the show was when this extra-aggressive guy who'd been shoving himself through the crowd in a non-polite moshy way climbed up on stage with his camera. He squirmed away from the security guard and took a flying leap into the audience, but everyone just stepped out of the way and let him fall on the floor. A demonstration of collective karma assessment, I guess. Hutch even stopped the show for a minute to make sure that everyone was o.k.
My second favorite thing was when I noticed that the second most socially-inept mosher --- who couldn't quite figure out if he wanted to be up by the stage or crashing into everyone behind him --- had written "Ron Paul 2008" on the back of his grey striped polo shirt.
My third favorite part was that when the Thermals came back for an encore they played a Built to Spill cover. At first, I thought they were joking, but then they went ahead and played "Big Dipper" all the way through and it sounded great.