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The Doubleclicks stole the show

November 18, 2011

It rained like hell in Portland that night, the night we went to see The Doubleclicks open for Wil Wheaton vs. Paul & Storm. I’d never heard of the Doubleclicks. Paul & Storm I’d only heard of because they get regular shout-outs from 1/2 the Twitter feeds I read. Wil Wheaton got on my radar after he did a great job reading / performing / entertaining at the Emerald City Comic Con in recent years, wherein I bought a collection of his stories and my wife snapped this photo. Funny story, that–for another time.

So my wife and I dodged rain drops as big as grapes and hunched and high-stepped and ran for cover. The Lamp’s awning snapped tight as wind gusts sent double-handfuls of water shooting past my shoulder. I grabbed the door handle with a clumsy grip, my knuckles were stiff from the damp and blustery cold.

Wood tables and black chairs and indirect lighting make The Lamp feel like the galley of an old ship. The crew, a rowdy yet polite mob of geeks and nerds, elbowed each other at every table, laughing and sporting layers of rain gear and obscure genre-specific tee-shirts that announced their cred. My wife snagged a seat at the corner of the bar and I stood beside to her as 2D as possible. We drank Bridgeport Kingpins–yum–and caught each other up on the day’s events over a plate of nachos–also, surprisingly, very yum.

The Lamp is a bar / restaurant with direct access via a shared-wall to the Aladdin Theater. We finished up in there about half an hour before the show and found some great seats up in the Aladdin’s balcony. I didn’t really know what to expect from Paul & Storm, but it turns out they’re a pair of talented dudes who sing witty songs and generally riff cultural. Their style has wit and range, which is great because it lets them entertain across a broad spectrum of funny. Some highlights include two very short songs: Nun Fight, If Aaron Neville Were Waiting for a Parking Spot at the Mall, But Someone Else Snagged It; and a few funny jaunty tunes you’ll have stuck in your noodle for days: Opening Band, Frogger! The Frogger Musical and The Captain’s Wife’s Lament.

The part of the show I liked best was probably Wil’s reading / performing his story “William Fucking Shatner” with Paul and Storm providing musical backup and commentary; and hey, look at that, I found a YouTube video of the three of them performing that same bit earlier this year at another show. If I understand correctly, this endearingly funny story about a star-struck kid meeting one of the greatest idols of his life, was first published in Wheaton’s Dancing Barefoot collection. He’s really made a name for himself with his collections of personal essays that range from childhood- and adulthood-geekdom to life as a married man and as a dad and even as an actor.

Wheaton was what got us out the door on a rainy night, but the real gem of the evening came from the opening act, a local duo called The Doubleclicks. Angela and Aubrey are sisters, nerds, and have a talent for articulating their real-life nerddom in soothing harmonies. Three songs I particularly loved, and so did everyone at the show, and which I think do a great job of introducing their style are Hollywood Raptor, Oh, Mr. Darcy, and Will They or Won’t They. If I go to another comic con or game convention or alt.genre.con and The Doubleclicks are not playing the venue, then it’s time to pack up the Tardis and hit the road.

There were a lot of laughs at this show and if Wil Wheaton vs. Paul & Storm come to your town I encourage you to attend. But there’s no doubt in my mind that for all the top billing those three hard-working goofballs get and deserve, it was the Doubleclicks who stole the show.

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