Jonathan Coulton – The set started with a song called “Millionaire Girlfriend”. It was absolutely hilarious and set the tone for what became a super enjoyable opening act.
Coulton stated after the first song, “Who can’t wait for Aimee Mann? Let’s bring her out now.” Aimee Mann then joined in for a few songs to the crowd’s surprise.
“It’s like a casino in here. That’s why I encourage everyone to drink heavily and bet it all” – Mann joked about the low-lighting for the midday show.
Next was “Shop Vac”, a song about the crushing pressure of adulthood/parenting and particularly loving a certain vacuum cleaner.” Great lyrical content, joking lyrics and beautiful singing/songwriting tells a heartfelt story through a catchy and comical chorus that is infectious.
“I like the Starbucks here because it’s better than the other one” – just a one line example here of Coulton’s hilarity.
“Hello side audience”, Coulton remarked to the tables on the right side of the stage.
“Let me tell you about the internet… it’s a terrible terrible place. I wake up in the morning, pick up my phone and look at Twitter and all the terrible things that happened overnight. The only thing that can make me feel better is looking at pictures of cats.” The song “Pictures of Cats then provided music and lyrics that painted the picture of seeking refuge in some feline jpegs.
Man’s presence, bass playing and backing vocals made the opening performance even more delightful than it already was.
“You Ruined Everything” was the most hysterical song of the set. The song was all about the hidden “JOYS” of parenting and how Coulton’s kids “ruined everything” for him.
Jonathan Coulton provides amazing songs, singing and a top notch comedic personality. He was an awesome opener that no one felt the need to rush through.
“If you wanna dance, please don’t… there’s not enough room”, Coulton told the crowd.
“Aimee Mann is a good songwriter in her own right. You should really check out her set.”
Aimee Mann – Mann started the set with a beautiful version of The Cars’ “Drive”. She was asked to do Phil Collins “Against All Odds” for a TV show (The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story) but picked this song instead.
“Goodbye Caroline” featured the amazing/tight band. Booming low toms charge along with rhythmic bass and make it an all around energetic song.
Mann’s songwriting has stayed consistent throughout all of her solo work since her first release Whatever in 1993. She knows how to perfectly craft a pop song full of interesting hooks and lyrical depth.
Amazing guitar harmonics, soulful keys and Mann’s infectious voice all come together in “Calling It Quits”
Rams Head on Stage is the most intimate and comfortable setting to enjoy music from anyone, let alone someone as talented and skilled as Aimee Mann.
The fourth song delivered was the incredible “Labrador” off of 2012’s Charmer. I became even more obsessed with Aimee Mann’s after purchasing Charmer because of its awesome spinning cover and orange translucent vinyl color.
“If you like John Denver but he’s a little too edgy for you, then this song is perfect.” Mann then launched into “Rollercoasters”, a song from her latest album Mental Illness. Jonathan Coulton helped co-write the magnificent track (along with others on the soft acoustic folk album) and it was dazzling live to have the two perform it together. Two amazing voices (Mann’s and Coulton’s) harmonize on “Patient Zero” from the same album had the exact incredible energy and feel – Amazing dynamic sound and seamless voices.
Mann explained the inspiration behind the hauntingly beautiful song”Goose Snow Cone” -“I was homesick and looking at pictures of cats on Instagram and came across one particularly sad cat face. I instantly remarked that it looked like a goose snow cone.”
During the set, Mann switched from an acoustic guitar to a bass and displayed her adaptable skills.
Mann’s best known and Academy Award nominated song “Save Me” was an absolute masterpiece live.
“Freeway” was a fun upbeat number that had everyone jiving to a thick synth part that dominated.
“No Choice in the Matter” from 1995’s “I’m With Stupid” was by far a fan favorite and it was clear that many people had the album on repeat to hear the insanely catchy song.
The end of set was strong and contained many songs that had the energy flowing in the room. “Longshot” was particularly bouncy.
“Wise Up” and “Deathly”
Mann delivered an incredibly diverse set of her solo songs (leaving Til Tuesday in the past and focusing mostly on her latest album and a good song selection from 1999’s Magnolia soundtrack) and the midday Rams Head on Stage crowd seemed very pleased with the performance.