Q – Do you remember what the audience member said towards the end of Music in a Foreign Language during The Whelan performance? Whatever was said seems to have gotten a laugh from you and the audience. It’s a nice moment on the recording. However, I can’t seem to make it out what the person’s comment was.
Also, do you get perturbed by some of the louder cheers, song call-outs, and random hoots and hollars at inappropriate times during your performances?
A – I’m afraid I can’t tell what was said and I do not recall (no surprises there). Interestingly that is the point in the song where I sometimes like to make fun of current world weary 26 year oids – such as Bright Eyes or Pete Yorn (who’s probably 36 by now).
As for ‘audience participation’ I’m afraid there is no hard and fast rule – what might ruin the night for me on Monday, I’ll take in my stride and feed from on Tuesday. A good rule of thumb, though is – if I’ve screwed up more than a couple of songs early on in a set – I’m more likely to fall apart (see Sheffield first set this January), so calling out mid song in those circumstances isn’t likely to help. Also if everyone else is almost silent and you are not, then maybe you might ask yourself why you’re at this particular concert? On the other hand, if the room is boisterous, there is no point expecting it to become silent – go with the flow and the show will usually be fine. The problem I had on the Friday at Whelan’s last year is I was expecting it to be almost silent, as it had been for the previous year’s shows, but they had redesigned the room (moved the upstairs bar closer to the stage) in the interim. I was already especially nervous and slightly frazzled thanks to all of the extra work needed to get ready to record, then I was taken by surprise by the noise level, and I did not adapt well. Still, I’m very happy with the record we made there and I’ll always be grateful to all who attended to make it such a special event.