photo by ilamya on flickr.
The last nights at (the old) Largo have been really emotional. I think Paul put it best when he said the last Jon Brion night was like the wake and his show the next night was like the baby shower.
The last Jon Brion show was AMAZING. One of the best Largo shows ever. I put it up there with the Shark-a-thon. What made it so wonderful was that everyone came out- Gruber, PFT, Benmont, Sara and Sean Watkins, Gabe, Flight of the Conchords, Fiona Apple, E, Ron Lynch, Sebastian, etc. And even the staff got into the act! Griffee performed a skit with Gruber, much like they did at Shark-a-thon and even Flanagan! Flanny not only played trumpet at the beginning of the show, but closed the show playing guitar and singing “All is Full of Love” with Jon on the piano. Amazing. We were all really proud of him, he did NOT even want to go up on stage at the end. Jon literally dragged him. But he was awesome and everyone really appreciated it.
Aaron out of the booth and Robert in the booth.
Though the show was one of the best I’ve seen in my five years of going to Largo, it was what was happening off stage that I really enjoyed the most. Aaron didn’t have to work that night so he got to relax at Largo for once. So we were both coming and going out the back door and wandering around socializing. I would watch a little of Jon and then go meet up with Aaron and Gruber out back and share a few laughs. Then go inside and have a drink with Paul, then go up to the podium to giggle with Mike and then go back to bar to hang out with the girls who were actually working. And for one night it was okay to do that! For one night Flanny just let everyone do whatever they wanted to do. For one night Flanny didn’t tell us to shut up or stand still or give us dirty looks when we burst out in laughter. In fact Flanny was the one who was making most of the noise!! Flanagan was laughing so hard that he was in tears in the back. He was resting his head against the sound booth and just sobbing with quiet laughter- thereby making everyone else around him laugh. And of course, this is all during a quiet song.
Griffee, Alex, Nicole & Flanny
Not only did we laugh but we goofed off, we hung out, we drank, we sang along to “Hang on Sloopy,” we ate cookies, we fought to get a pieces of pizza, we quietly listened to how amazing Jon is, we totally ignored how amazing Jon is, Fiona danced like an excited puppy, Loretta hugged everyone, Flanny couldn’t stop laughing, Ellen was slammed the entire night, Scott kept walking in and out of the booth shaking his head, Paul and I made fun of Scott for that, Sara and I talked about weddings, Alex told me about the baby shower she attended for Jill (who used to work there), Aaron enjoyed his free time with his friends, we all caught a case of the giggles, and when Jon ended his set with a tearful speech we all cried with him.
Aaron’s been very stoic this entire time. He hasn’t been sad, he said he’s “over it.” He’s been working there for six years and he’s ready to say goodbye to that “shitty building.” But last night we all had a reason to cry when Jon gave his speech, we all found and remembered the things we would miss about that particular “shitty building.” For Aaron it was when he lifted up the bar top for Guillermo. He realized then that it would be the last time he’d ever do that for him, and it would likely be the last time he’d ever help Guillermo with much of anything. In the new Largo the sound booth is isolated in the back of theatre, above the audience. There won’t be much interaction with the rest of the staff for Aaron anymore. And it made him finally break the stoicism and feel something.
For me it was the fact that this little club, and this wonderful show, was the reason I met the man I’m going to marry. If it wasn’t for Jon Brion shows every Thursday and Friday during my college years I would have never have gotten to know Aaron. And every time I walk into that space I think about how far I’ve come since college, how much my life has changed and what a HUGE roll Largo had to do with it. I cried when Jon’s show ended as I thought about what he and what this theater had given me.
Totes showing off the ring on the Largo piano. ;)
The next night, at the Paul F Tompkin’s show, the usual suspects were back again. And the show was great. We were all having too good of a time to get sad. Paul regaled us with his favorite Largo memories, including a crying fit in the alley, a strange request for Jon from Flanagan (“Will and Grace” DVD menu!), and suffering the wrath of the audience for clapping at the wrong the moment. There was also singing, or course! Paul took a request for the first time and paid for his “Will and Grace DVD menu” story when someone requested “Shark Week.” So Paul ad-libbed a “Shark Week” song. Brilliant.
Sean and Sarah and Jon and Benmont and Paul all sang together. And then Fiona announced that she had written a song about Largo. She she played it for us. It was wonderfully sweet. Probably the best moment of the night. In her song she mentioned almost everyone that was there that night, even Guillermo! It was a song about how when you come to Largo you feel like you’re visiting family, and it’s a good pick me up for when your feeling sad and alone- just walk through those doors and your surrounded by people who know and love you. My favorite line from her song is something like “When ‘Tench is on the bench I want to be the piano.” But my favorite part was the chorus where she just repeated “Go to Lar- go to Lar- go to Largo.” It made us all smile.
And then Paul ended his show, like he always does, and always will do, by singing “Danny Boy.” And then it was over.
to be continued…
Continued on May 5th- the last night of Largo…
It’s been a ridiculously emotional night. I’ve been silently crying since I walked down the alleyway towards my car.
I took so many pictures that Aaron is actually mad at me. But I don’t care. This evening meant a lot to me and one day he’ll be happy that I took all these pictures.
When I have more time and I’m less sad I will write more and maybe add more photos. But for now there’s this…
(update: that used to be a video of Fiona singing the last song at Largo but I got BIG trouble for this and had to take it down. Funny thing having Fiona Apple mad at me. Ah well, it was amazing while it lasted.
Last look at old Largo.
To see more pictures from the last night check out my Last night at Largo set on Flickr.