the Troubadour - West Hollywood - 12/17/99

***Secret Fanclub Show***

See pictures from the show here.

Ok.. I get there with my friend Nadi and we stand in line outside in front of the Troub. After some silliness and meeting the girls in front of us, Jozette and Ariana, the guys walk out. Jacques comes up and promptly asks what's in my fanny pack. {Tic tacs} He also laughs and quickly goes "awwww" after seeing my membership card; my old sixth grade school picture is on it. Hugs. Doors open, everyone walks in, and the audience {okay, just me and Nadi} dances around to no music. Ed Rooney, Jason's brother's band, sets up. And hey, it turns out Taylor {he who was so compelled to sing along at the last Troub show} is their guitarist. Small world.. As for Ed Rooney, wow, were they good for their first live show ever... especially since they had only been a band for 3 weeks before the show! They play like they'd been out in "the scene" for ages. /me is pleasantly surprised. Oh, and Jason stands by the bar and plays air guitar as they performed. Ahem, moving on...

After a bit, Pp starts to set up. Jason emerges carrying a woman whom he introduces as Suzanne {"talk quickly, you're heavy"}. By this time we have moved over to Darren's side on the left, sitting on a mega-woofer with our feet on the stage. Alex starts talking, thanks everyone, and this: "And we love fan participation, so feel free to sing, dance along-- but it's really important that you all join in on the last two words at the end of this first set... you'll find out why soon enough. This set is called.. our record." And that's what it was; they played the whole album all the way through, with the entire audience {well, those who remembered to do so} joining in on "good night." They take a break, and chat a bit before the second set.

Suzanne announces that the after-party will be at the Stinking Rose restaurant in Beverly Hills. Weird name, I think. Nadi sees this woman talking to Jason and says, "you look just like my friend Jackie." The woman screams "NATASHAAAAA!!!" {Nadi's real name} and they both start jumping up and down and screaming; they hadn't seen each other in months, they live over 3 hours away from each other, and neither knew the other had ever heard of Phantom Planet. And they just happened to be right next to each other in the audience. What were the chances?? Again, small world...

Jacques, Alex, and Sam, walk onstage alone. They cover "Lazy Days" acapella, around one microphone with one spotlight and otherwise darkness. The mood is very serene until... the sound of Darren's scream pierces the room. Everyone looks up at that room with the big glass window and sees Jason "forcing himself" on Darren. Darren's back is against the glass panel Jason is pressing him to as he, ah, tries making out with him. Soon they both fall to the floor. We hear Darren kicking. Hilarity ensues. Sam, Jacques, and Alex look distracted but don't interrupt their singing for a second. No one was paying attention anyway. Nadi screams 'rape' at the top of her lungs. We see a hand pawing for the glass window. The two head down to the stage after a moment, saying nothing, normal expressions, not even a laugh. {Someone please enlighten me as to why Jason and Darren's "performance" was for our benefit...?}

As for that next set, they did two brand new ones: "Crashing Your Party," and "Something New" with Jacques on vocals. "Simon" complete with preceding reprise, "One Ray of Sunlight" electric, "Darker Shade," "Can You See Me Now?"... "Asteroid G" live, most notably, is just incredible. Sometime during the set, Darren leans over to Nadi while playing and simply smiles; she {of course!} decides to lick his guitar. The second his back is turned, she kicks him on the butt. After the song, he asks me "Excuse me.. did somebody kick me while I was playing?" Nadi yells "it was Stephanie!" He believes the crazy licking girl and jokingly "attacks" me with his guitar as if it were a machine gun of sorts...

They close with Bust a Move after the Goonies song {a request taken from the person who traveled the farthest, a guy from "30 hours away" in Mexico}. I run onstage and yell "IS THERE A GRETCHEN IN THE HOUSE" since she was supposed to come down from SF and I was going to meet her. Nobody answers {aside from a surprisingly polite security guard}.

Jackie acts as our ride to the Stinking Rose. We arrive, and everyone waits outside to go in. While we wait, Jason has a couple people {one of which is Jackie} tell a few, ah, risque jokes. We are almost not let in, since the restaurant didn't expect so many under-21s and booked the bar area for them. We were just about to walk in a massive group to the nearest, say, Shakey's or something until some quick arrangements are made and everybody moves inside. We find seats right across from the band, and I steal all the Equal packets from their table and ours {I love those things!}. Jason makes a speech. He scares an innocent diner who has no idea what is going on, and the rest of us by singing with a waiter. They treat every single member present to free dinner. As Jackie says, "Sweet Jesus!" How much did that set them back? So, I really have to say thanks so much. Really, wow, thank you.

Did I mention this was a garlic specialty restaurant? Garlic pizza, garlic fries, garlic soup, garlic shrimp cocktail, garlic bread, garlic potato pate. Sam puts a big spoonful of what he thought was mushroom soup in his mouth. He gags, asks a waiter what that was. What else? It was garlic in garlic oil.

The guys all wander around. Nadi makes Darren sit on her lap while I take a picture. He suggests trying the garlic ice cream. I don't think so. Chatting. We discuss languages with Jacques; he's impressed that I get A's in 2nd year French because "French is really hard!" and decides to announce it to the whole restaurant. People applaud. I hide my face.

Nadi decides she wants a picture with Alex, but he's on the other side of the table. Instead of going around it, she crawls under. While she's under there, Alex yelps, twitches, and makes "ohhh, ohhhh" noises. Nadi realizes what he's trying to pull off, so she stays under a moment longer to add to the effect. When she emerges, he asks her: "Was it as good for you as it was for me?" Her reply: "No. I expected ..something more."

Further chatting, a wise-cracking waiter commenting on Darren's "loud" shirt, and Jacques fetching Nadi's ice tea later, we're about to leave. Converstation that follows:

Nadi: My hair is weird now. {I feel it}
Me: It feels like.. gosh.. Jacques, you know how Alex's hair feels like? It's like this. Like a dog.
Jacques: I've never touched Alex's hair. {pause} I don't think I want to. How's mine?
Me: {I feel} See, this is normal. Because I bet you actually wash it. {to Nadi} You should wash yours every day.
Jacques: {to Nadi, feeling her hair} Oh.. um, you should.
Me: Ah, great, now look... when she heard that Michael Stipe liked girls with big eyebrows, she started growing hers. When she heard he liked redheads, she dyed her hair. So when you tell her to wash her hair, she's really going to go home and wash it!
Nadi: Oh, yeah, when I dyed my hair!
Jacques: I like redheads. Well.. I like all heads. {pauses} That didn't come out right.
Me: {laughing} You KNOW that's going on my website.
Jacques: Oh no.. No it's not!!
Me: Oh, yes it is!
Nadi mumbles, freudian slip...

We finally leave, and outside Sam is smoking. My mom who had arrived, playfully scolds him for this. He reasons, "I'm a rock star," in that quiet Sam way...

Oh, yes, and with all the garlic, my Tic Tacs were very valuable that night...