IE’s ‘Best Gig Ever’ Action

This actually took place a while ago, but This American Life did a segment about it this weekend, and I caught it in the car and really loved it.

The story concerns those wacky comedy guerrillas at Improv Everywhere (previously linked to for their McDonald’s bathroom attendant mission), who picked out a newish, mostly unknown rock band called Ghosts of Pasha (G.O.P.) that was scheduled to perform a gig late on a Sunday night at NYC’s Mercury Lounge. Normally such a show would have had about three paying customers. But 35 IE agents prepared themselves by downloading songs from the G.O.P. web site, and then showed up and gave the boys in the band their best gig ever.

The story makes for a fascinating twist on the question of who is the performer and who is the audience. The members of G.O.P. were (naturally) weirded out by the unexpectedly big crowd that was whooping and dancing, singing along with every song, but they soon got into it, as band and audience fed off each other’s energy.

Within a few days the band figured out what happened; see their comments on the IE site: band response.

It sounds like it was a lot of good, clean fun. The episode isn’t available yet on This American Life’s 2005 show archive page, but it should be there shortly. Highly recommended.

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