I saw Jonathan Coulton live! Somehow I came into possession of a couple of comped tickets to his show during New York Comic-Con, and we decided it was worth the trek out to Brooklyn.

I was a little surprised. Jonathan Coulton’s studio tracks are often backed by intriguing electronica or heavy rock beats, but live he was purely acoustic (almost…)

Like a lot of people, the first JoCo track I heard was Code Monkey. It was the first time I heard a song for nerds that wasn’t entirely a joke. That turns out to be JoCo’s specialty. The other JoCo songs I knew well (apart from Chiron Beta Prime, a scifi Christmas Carol) were IKEA, Re: Your Brains, All This Time, Still Alive, and First of May (which I’m not going to link; you can find it on your own if you must).

I figured that like most established artists, JoCo would play some old songs for the fans, and some new ones to promote the new album, and indeed that’s what happened. What I didn’t expect is that he would sing every single one of the songs I knew. The audience sang along, being full of people who, like me, have been listening to them on repeat for the last 10 years.

Of the new music, the one that really stuck with me was Brave, which he described as being about “an internet troll who lives in his mother’s basement and is really broken inside”. (Well, that and Mr. Fancypants, on a bat’leth Zendrum LT.)

As always, Paul and Storm opened the show. They’re truly musical comedians; JoCo seems sincere and plaintive by comparison. I think my favorite song of theirs was Opening Band, which might also have been their least jokey number.

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