Glen Phillips

Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket was supposed to come to Goddard today! And he did! It was so so cool! And really weird as well. He was playing in Easton last night, and Vienna tomorrow, so I suspect he was in the area, and as a big NASA nerd, he probably requested a tour, and they said, hey you should play a set in the spot where we have Goddard bands play, outside the Bldg 21 cafeteria.

But it was rainy today – and the rain plan was inside the cafeteria, where there really isn’t anywhere to play.

My friend Damon and I went over at 11:30 to see what was up, and to get lunch – there was no sign of anything going on, but I spotted someone I recognized with an amp, and I found out that he was lending Glen the amp. He started to set it up for Glen right in the path from the “in” door into the cafeteria. Right near the tray return and the door to the kitchen. So Damon and I grabbed spots at a long table that was right in front of where they were setting Glen up.

He showed up a little before noon and had a friend with him – they each had acoustics, and they had one mic. It was seriously a strange set up – and every so often cafeteria workers would trundle by in front of them, wheeling a cart of dishes. They had a good sense of humor about it, but I felt kind of bad. The audience grew to decent size (you know, for a cafeteria gig), and were definitely appreciative. I know I was.

It was so cool to have a free, virtually private concert by someone whose voice and music you like so much! He played the song I liked best from his “space” themed EP, he played two Toad songs (Walk on the Ocean and All I Want) and they were *awesome* acoustic versions, with his friend doing harmony. I actually turned my camera on and recorded just the sound for all of All I want and a snipped of Walk on the Ocean. I couldn’t resist – I wanted to be able to hear them again. And I took few non-flash pics as subtley as I could. I didn’t want to be obnoxious. But wow – it was so so cool! He played maybe 3 other solo songs – maybe for a total of 20 minutes. So it was short, but so awesome!!

Afterwards, he was right by me, so I talked to him first and thanked him for coming and sort of apologized for the weird setting. I just wanted him to know it was appreciated that he played at all! I told him the last time I had seen him play was at the 9:30 Club, and he said “old or new”? and I said new, the most recent time they were there, and he said he remembered the old one being near some alley in DC where John Wilkes Booth escaped after shooting Lincoln or something. And I managed to tell him that Toad’s cover of Hey Bulldog was one of my favorite Beatle covers. And I got to take a picture with him, and he asked me what project I worked on. The rest is a blur. But he was super nice, and Rob, our drummer, who had met me there, got a picture with him, and a couple other people took pics or asked him to sign CDs. He seemed really excited to be at Goddard at all, and was excited when some people gave him NASA swag from whatever missions they worked on.

Here are the few pics I took!

Tuning!
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Playing! Note the big soda cooler to the right. I should take a pic tomorrow of the spot where they played from further back so you can see how tiny and random it is.

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and me and Glen!

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