Counting Down the Hours: Ted Leo’s Southern Mystery Tour

What’s that sound? Oh, don’t mind me — it’s just the sound of MY HEAD EXPLODING.

No, gentle reader, this is not some photoshopped chicanery by malicious interweb trolls out to shatter my already fragile psyche. This is true, verified and confirmed by all sorts of PR people and club managers. Ted Leo, TED FREAKIN LEO, is booked to come to posh, docile little Hilton Head Island. You must immerse yourself in perspective to fully comprehend this. Several items to consider:

1) In the three years I’ve been here, musical acts on Hilton Head have included:
-Journey
-Foreigner
-Hootie and the Blowfish (x2)
-Blues Traveler (x2)
-Spin Doctors
-Tantric
-George Clinton
-Ride the Lightning (Metallica cover band)
-Fishbone
-Kenny Rogers
-Chevelle
-Eduardo Dinero (BKA Eddie Money)*
-Black Light Burns
-Dionne Warwick
Brian Howe

2) A typical playlist at an island bar consists of the following, either in recorded or live cover version:
“Sweet Home Alabama”
“Cheeseburger in Paradise”
“That Was a Crazy Game of Poker”
“Don’t Cha”
“The Thong Song”
“Let the Good Times Roll”
“Sweet Home Alabama”
Various by Linkin Park
The latest Usher song
The latest Kid Rock song
“Piano Man”
“Hollaback Girl”
“Sweet Home Alabama”
“Piano Man”
“Bad Day”
“Brown Eyed Girl”
“Sweet Home Alabama” into “Cheeseburger in Paradise”
“Back in Black”
“You’re Beautiful”

Put that playlist into your headPod and hit repeat. Allow it to play for 625 days straight, and you get the picture.

3) Approximate number of people on Hilton Head who know of Ted Leo’s existence: 8
Approximate number of people outside The Island Packet who know of Ted Leo’s existence: 2
(margin of error +/- 2)

4) Activities of the average Ted Leo fan: leftist political protests; music blogging; purchasing pomade for mohawk; cataloging Joe Strummer b-side discs; checking Barack Obama’s Twitter page.
Activities of average Hilton Head resident: golfing, yacht shopping, aging, complaining about illegal immigrants; polishing “W ’04” bumper sticker; stopping randomly in the fast lane on major highways; remembering things the way they used to be; taking family pictures in khaki pants and white T-shirts on the beach.

All this adds up to a pretty ridiculously improbable appearance for Teddy and his crew. They just got done playing in front of thousands at sold-out shows at MSG and elsewhere opening for Pearl Jam. Now they’re going to play in front of four local newspaper staff writers and maybe a handful of state-line jumping hipsters from Savannah. Jawsome.

I don’t understand it, but goddamnit am I excited for it. We figure Ted is going to be forced to hang out with us after the show, because, let’s face it: what else is he gonna do? The Wild Wing Cafe is not, we can be certain, where the rude boys have gone.

RELATED:
Column: What’s a loud band like you doing in a nice place like this?
Interview with Ted Leo, when he toured through Orlando and Atlanta in 2007

* You need to read this interview my roommate did with Eddie Money, for this quote alone:
Q. How often are you on the road?
A. I’m on the road every weekend if I can help it. Everyone in the band has kids and they’re divorced so everyone’s miserable. So if they didn’t work for me they’d go work for Styx or R.E.O. (Speedwagon). I try to keep the band happening.

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3 responses to “Counting Down the Hours: Ted Leo’s Southern Mystery Tour

  1. I wonder if he’ll do any Chisel B-sides.

    Are you going to go “the essence” style?

  2. This show calls for a serious case of The Essence.

  3. To make this show the essence:

    Pre-show:
    1) buy one (1) ticket at the venue’s box office, not online, this very second.

    2) mark calander, take day off

    3) purchase adult diaper

    Day-of-show:
    1) Put on adult diaper: no bathroom breaks permitted. If you have to piss, piss yourself. If you have to shit, shit yourself. If you want to fuck, remove diaper, fuck yourself.
    2) Arrive 45 minutes before doors open. Sit by yourself and think about how awesome show will be.
    3) Have ticket and ID ready. Once doors open rush to front of stage, mark territory.

    Show:
    1) Stare into space during openers. Try not to think about infinity.
    2) When Ted Leo emerges scream “Jersey” ad infinitum or “Ted Leo is the Half Blood Prince” once.
    3) If you know the lyrics, sing them. If Ted Leo’s voice gives out mid-set he might be more inclined to let you try to front the band. This is essentially the essence of The Essence(Don’t tell him you are tonedeaf. Let him figure it out for himself)
    $) If in the event you aren’t asked to front the band you may leave only once the house lights come on to indicate there will be no further encores.

    Post-show:
    1) Smoke blunt with Ted Leo

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