Episode 527: You Want This, So We Will Give You This

On the Overthinking It Podcast, we celebrate summer by tackling live music and the concert-going experience.

Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and Matthew Wrather do what people do over the summer—they buy Billy Joel tickets in advance.

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7 Comments on “Episode 527: You Want This, So We Will Give You This”

  1. John C #

    On the phrase that became the title, it seems like a lot of popular culture has adopted the concert/encore mentality, over the years, especially television. Everything is an Event that’s artificially (psychologically) limited to a Season that mostly doesn’t matter, “shout-outs” to the fans have been common for a while (parallel to every city being the best audience), and there’s encore after encore that’s often some weird combination of mutual love for “classic” material and going through the motions akin to contractual obligation.

    I don’t know if that has any sort of deeper meaning, but it does seem like it’s only a matter of time before we’re faced with a Special Event “How I Met Your Mother” curtain call where we’re assured that the fans are the best fans in the world. Now that I think about it, though, I could definitely imagine myself going to watch a sitcom “on tour,” especially something “Barney Miller”-ish that’s so well-built for a stage; I did see Hal Linden in “The Pirates of Penzance” (as the Major-General), years ago, which I guess is close enough and sort of nudges this back to concerts.

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  2. Random #

    The most embarrassing musician that I am a fan of? Easy. I am not young, female, or lesbian but I live and die by Hayley Kiyoko. I love all her songs and her videos all tell powerful stories that resonate with me. She directs all of those too which makes her greatness even more evident. Lesbian Jesus owns my soul.

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  3. Benjamin #

    We caught Stevie Wonder this weekend in Vegas (an equally virtuosic and earnest show) and I was guessing that there would be no encores mostly due to the fact that it took two backup singers (plus Johnny Gill who came up on stage out of the audience to my delight) just to guide the legend off the stage.

    But we clapped and cheered, and guess what? Stevie came back and did a Bruno Mars song for us. I was fooled despite myself. Or I wanted to be fooled. Either way it was great theater.

    In my personal head canon the Overthinkingit encore would be the “This podcast is ruined” refrain from the Edge of Tomorrow review, and the podcast team would triumphantly return to review Super Bowl commercials.

    But if the audience is feeling it so much that a deep cut 2nd encore is warranted? Mark Lee lecturing the listeners that the Marvel Cinematic Universe will never be a thing is the track for the old heads who rode for Overthinkingit before it was cool.

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    • Mark Lee OTI Staff #

      “Mark Lee lecturing the listeners that the Marvel Cinematic Universe will never be a thing is the track for the old heads who rode for Overthinkingit before it was cool.”

      Oh dear…did I say that on more than one occasion? Maybe once after the first Thor movie would be excusable, but did I double down on that bad take on another occasion?

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  4. Mark Lee OTI Staff #

    So it turns out I never got to tell a good anecdote from the Billy Joel concert in this episode. But that’s what the comments are for! As expected, he did play “Goodnight Saigon” (the sad Vietnam War ballad that wouldn’t be so out of place in the musical “Miss Saigon,” listen to it here if you’re not familiar with it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qjzjhl-QztE).

    But here’s the kicker: it was during Fleet Week in NYC, aka that one week of the year where midtown Manhattan is crawling with sailors on shore leave around Memorial Day. Apparently enough of said sailors were in the audience at MSG to get about a dozen of them to be called on stage for the song. OK, fine, may be a tad awkward, but sure, support the troops, great! They get a big cheer, naturally.

    And then at the end of the song, the crowd starts chanting “USA! USA! USA!”

    Sigh. This is why our country can’t have nice things. Billy Joel sings a song about America’s tragic and horrible armed conflict, which should be poignant, but you put some men and women on the stage and all that gets lost to unthinking jingoism.

    Or maybe there’s a more charitable way to read this incident?

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    • Liffer In A Way #

      I applaud you, Mark, for trying to find a charitable excuse for this, but patriotic irony died (if it wasn’t already) when Reagan (and so many politicians since) used “Born in the USA” as a campaign song…

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