I got to Iota at about 5:15, even though the show didn’t start until 9. They don’t do advance tickets, so you have to actually be there to get the Hand-Stamp of Admission. I had no idea if there would be 3 fans or 300 trying to get in, so I figured it was better to be safe (and early) than sorry! It turned out there were only a few people there at that point, although my waiter said it was actually more than they usually get at that time. Iota’s split into a café half and a bar/performing area half, which is darker, so first I sat in the café so I could read a book until it got more crowded (I’m such a dork, yes; particularly since I was re-reading Wintersmith and probably laughing out loud every now and then. Terry is so funny). I was also “that guy” (so to speak) who wore the shirt of the band to go see the band. Heh. But as I told Dave, “What better place is there to wear my hand-painted Matt Good shirt than in a club where I’ll be surrounded by Matt Good fans for the first time ever?” Y’know?
I got a couple of glasses of wine and read while I waited for Dave to get there. Around the end of Glass No. 2, people were starting to trickle in to the bar side, so I paid my tab and moved over there. There was ONE empty stool left at the bar, so I sat on it and looked around for more. There was only one left, behind a guy in a black coat who had his head propped on his hand at the back of the bar. I turned to the guy next to me and was like, “Will you watch my stool so I can go ask that guy if I can have the other one?” And he was like, “What guy? You mean him? That’s Matt Good, you know.” I looked again and was like, “SO IT IS.” (Bear in mind it was somewhat dark and also I need to upgrade my contacts again (*sigh*). I do actually know what he looks like!) Matt Good or not, though, I needed another stool for Dave, so I went on over and said "Excuse me" to him. He didn’t respond, so, feeling slightly awkward, I was like, “Um...*prod*...Matt?” He started and kind of went, “Hstfgl? Oh. I was sleeping. Yeah, sure, you can have the stool.” So then I felt terrible for waking him up, but he was cool about it. Heh.
Dave got there a little bit later, so we hung out at the bar for a bit and then I went to the restroom. On the way back (since I was walking past him) I apologized again for waking Matt up, and then we got to talking – we discussed a recent blog post he made about Arlington history, and he asked me if I lived nearby. I think that was the gist of that conversation. Then he got pulled aside to take some pictures, I think, so I figured it was a good time to do that and went and retrieved my own camera and the only CD I’d been able to locate for him to sign (WLRRR – I own them all, but they’re in NJ right now, since they’re all on my iPod now). He signed it and at some point, someone took a picture of us for me. (I talked to him at several intervals; he kept getting pulled away to sign things and stuff, but each time he was like, “We’ll talk more later,” which was nice of him.) He was so relaxed and easygoing about doing all the “fan” things like signing and photos that it made it more like everyone was just hanging out.
At some point during all of this I met Lance, one of the guys who works for/with him (not sure of his official title), and we got to talking, too. I think he took a liking to me (Note: As Dave points out, I should mention that Lance is an Older Dude in his 50s) and also said something about my shirt (I think maybe he asked where I got it) and Matt was like, “She made it” and I said (jokingly), “How did you know? I didn’t tell you that!” and he was all, “Well we don’t sell those.” So I asked him if he liked it, and he was like, “Hey, anything that means my name is plastered across a woman’s chest is cool with me!” HEE. Lance kept telling me I should come to the Buffalo show, and they’d “put me on the guest list” (I have no idea what that means - I guess maybe Buffalo’s a bigger show?) and stuff, which would have been AWESOME, if I had any money to get there. Sadly it wasn’t possible, but that was nice nonetheless.
Then Matt went to eat before the show, and the ever-patient Dave (who had been watching my stool while I flitted around being a total fangirl) and I also had some dinner. Matt came out to do a sound-check and actually played a good bit of Born Losers and some Prime Time Deliverance and stuff. That was awesome (he sounds great just warming up). Then he came down and hung out some more, and I think that’s when someone took the picture of us.
Eventually the show started. Dave and I got a spot right next to the left side of the stage. The opening act was quite good, and then Matt came on and blew us all away. He was fantastic. His voice is so amazing, and he is one of the few artists I’ve seen who manages to change the song from how it sounds on a CD and still make it sound just as awesome as the CD version (some artists just can’t do it – the CD version always sounds better). The space was fairly small so his voice really filled the place, and you could see he really puts his all into the show. He segued from song to song, stopping now and then to say hilariously funny things (I wish I could remember half of them now!). He joked with the crowd and with Lance and was generally one of the best performers I’ve ever seen. The whole set was fantastic.
Champions of Nothing
Silent Army in the Trees (which I don’t yet have)
She’s in it for the Money
I’m a Window
99% of Us is Failure
Load Me Up
Strange Days (SQUEE!)
Pledge of Allegiance
If I Was a Tidal Wave (another one I don’t have :( )
(Original set list says Generation X-Wing was supposed to be the last song, after Metal Airplanes, but I guess he changed his mind.)
It was such an intimate setting and he’s so easygoing that the only time it really felt like he was the “star” as opposed to “the awesome guy rocking the house” was when he went away and came back for the encore. Heh.
Dave and I were standing near the tech booth where Lance was, so after the show, Lance gave me the set list. (Squee!) I also asked him if they were selling any merch there, and he said no. I told him I was sad because I really wanted a Hospital Music bag to go with my shirt, and he said, “I’ll get you one.” I was like, “How?” (meaning physically, how? Like mail me one?) and he goes, “Well, I do know the guy who sings the songs.” HEE.
I wanted to stay for awhile, but it was getting late, so Dave wasn’t sure how long he wanted to stay. We sat down at the bar for a few, and then Lance came back and told us that Matt was hanging out outside (they have outdoor tables in the back) so we went back there. There was one seat left next to Matt so I sat down, and poor Dave got stuck practically in the doorway. (I’m sorry, honey!! I couldn’t turn down the seat!) Dave decided he’d go home since it was late and I wanted to stay as long as Matt was there. I had someone watch my seat and went to tell him goodbye. When I came back, Matt was like, “What, was the boyfriend giving you shit?” or something to that effect, so I said no and explained that Dave had to get up early. This of course led to, “Well what about you?” and I told him I don’t work until 9:30. He was amazed. But that’s government! Anyway I work until 6 because of it. Matt saw that I had the set list (because I was trying to figure out how to keep it from getting wrinkled in my bag) and offered to sign it, so he signed that and also a napkin I had that the hand-stamp guy has stamped an owl on. (Which I thought was cool because owls are part of my family crest.)
There were several nice fans at the table, including one who I discovered was someone I recognized from The Bored (MG forum), and we all sat around and talked about...let’s see...I remember discussing A Clockwork Orange, and possibly insomnia, and definitely guitars and equipment, and...various other things. It was all very fun, but then Lance came and had to pull Matt away so they could get to their hotel in Baltimore. *sniff* After he got up I realized he’d left his orange marker so I went to return it to him. I bid them farewell and Lance told me that they would be doing a full band tour here in, I want to say October (SQUEEEEEEEEE) and that he’d let me know about that and asked for my phone number (presumably for that reason, although the comments he made about how it was “too bad you’re dating someone” may have indicated another motive, hah). And then off they went!
I hung around for a bit afterwards at the table with the fun fans, and then finally wended my way home.
(Oh, and by the way, Matt enjoyed playing for us Arlington folks.
The show! The show!
Matt during soundcheck, playing Born Losers.
Matt chatting to the crowd and making us all laugh.
Matt looking over at Lance.
Matt will sign anything you want. Although NOW I realize I really should have had him sign my iPod, seeing as the "personalized" line says, "Victory Through Sheer Volume. MGB." Dur! (Next time!)
And now, video!
The only decent video I got, from one of my favorite parts of 99% Of Us Is Failure (note: I think it might still be being "processed." I'm such a YouTube n00b.):
From one of the guys at the show, Load Me Up (including the only time Matt messed up all night, aw!):