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Love's Not a Poison -- The Mr. T Experience

by Rich

--Article Written/Edited by Autumn Perne of "Radio Killed the Video Star." Not Rich. I don't know how to change what it says up there (^).


Note: This article is adapted from a "blog" entry I wrote while still giddy after seeing this show on February 19, 2004.


Tonight's show was the best I've seen since coming to Cleveland.

Scratch that; it's the best I've seen -- ever.

You see, my former favourite was the Weezer show I saw the February after I turned sixteen. It was at Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh. I was amazed at how many people could be brought together by a single cause: rock 'n' roll. Also, the entire crowd was singing along. Weezer had so much hype. They had special effects. The glistening, brightly-lit =w= (one of which now resides in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). The smoke and sparkles during "Only In Dreams." It was spectacular. I bawled after that show, because I didn't want to leave. Because I felt finally like I belonged somewhere.

But, BUT that has all been replaced. By the Mr. T Experience at the Grog Shop in Cleveland, Ohio. The best part of that show was the intimacy of the small venue. I would like to think that since MTX has been around for about ten years and because I think that they are very talented they would have been able to play a larger venue, but, unfortunately, I don't think that could have happened. Which isn't a problem because it means that they have a dedicated, long-term following.

I didn't cry this time, but I was about to. I stood right up against the stage. They played so much old stuff. And I sang along. Which I would have to say is one of the best feelings in the world: singing along as one of your favourite bands is playing live.

And I talked to the new second guitarist/keyboardist and he was supernice. It amazed me how so many people didn't realize after the show that this new keyboardist was also working the merch table. I suppose that most people focused on Dr. Frank the lead singer/songwriter/guitarist, as well as the only original member of the band.

I bought the newest album (Yesterday Rules -- the one that they were touring to promote) there. Only 10 bucks. Oh, and I got the ticket free from WRUW. Not necessary for me to experience that which is the Mr. T Experience, but a splendid bonus. And I took one of the really nice advertising posters that had the image from the album's cover on it. And I got Jym (the drummer)'s set list (cause Ted's and Dr. Frank's were already taken).

God, it was wonderful.

You see, I'm additionally sentimental about the Mr. T Experience not only because they were one of the very first indie rock bands I ever got into, but because my very first show was one of theirs (October 1999 -- Club Laga, Pittsburgh).

The first fanletter I ever sent was to Dr. Frank (I've only sent one since -- in January to Robert Nanna of Hey Mercedes) .

FYI: Their label, Lookout! Records, is the orignal label of Green Day... you know, back when they were a tiny garage band.

Oh, and also... since MTX was my first show, back in the day, I took my camera. And got pictures with all the band members (circa Jym-Joel-Frank era). But, since I was a dumbass who didn't load the film right, none of the pix turned out. But at that show, I did get their autographs. Which I still have. On a promotional picture I got in the mail with the Mr. T-shirt I ordered from Lookout!

I didn't take my camera this time, but goshdarnit, I should have. I was so close.

It was so fun. And wonderful. I had a great time.

And I'm on my third time of listening to their new album "Yesterday Rules" since I've gotten home from the show.

Stylistically, MTX has changed a lot from their 1986 debut "Everyone's Entitled to Their Own Opinion," but their lyrics are as catchy as ever, and the sound is still real. You know what I mean?



Did I mention that it was wonderful?


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