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Monday, Nov. 12, 2012

Aimee Mann w/ Ted Leo @ The Pabst Theater

Nov. 11, 2012

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Aimee Mann - CJ Foeckler
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Aimee Mann’s current tour is in support of her new album, Charmer. She started her set at the Pabst Theater showcasing three tracks from Charmer, “Disappeared,” “Gumby,” and “Labrador," and most of the other songs on the album, all tributes to narcissistic people, followed throughout the evening. Dressed in matching black boots, leather jacket and glasses, Mann drolly promised the audience to rock them in “a mid-’70s, mid-tempo kind of way, but not as hard as ABBA.”

She did the title track from Charmer and then announced a duet from the album, “Living a Lie.” The recorded version features James Mercer of The Shins, but for the stage Mann enlisted Ted Leo, who had opened the show with a half-hour solo set.

The biggest audience reaction of the night was when Mann played a trio of songs made famous by the sadly beautiful Magnolia sound track. She started on stage alone, bathed in a purple spotlight for “Save Me,” and was joined by her back up band for “Give Up,” and “One” (a Harry Nilsson cover).

Mann displayed her wit engaging the audience in banter several times despite the indecipherable messages some audience members were trying to hoot at her.

“Wisconsin welcomes you Aimee!” screamed one fan.

“The entire state is welcoming me...” Mann said in mock wonder.

“Even Paul Ryan,” someone decided to shout, which drew a chorus of boos from the audience. Mann was amused.

“Wow, not a fan?” She said. “I will say it is a pet creep peeve of mine, to me it’s creepy when you have a nerd head on top of a ripped-abs situation.”

She also revealed another Wisconsinite that creeps her out is the Bronze Fonz. “It’s just too small to be right. And he’s wearing green pants and his teeth are delineated perfectly, anyway I love it so much. Every town has its wrong statue and this is yours.”

Mann’s last song was “It’s Not Safe” from her album I’m With Stupid, and she took a slow, extended instrumental segment of the song to thank the audience. “I feel like we’ve been on a little journey together,” she said, recalling the discussion about Paul Ryan and The Fonz, and comparing herself and Ted Leo to Laverne and Shirley.

Aimee Mann and band returned for a few encore numbers, including “Video,” which she had received as a request on Twitter. “Deathly” and “King of the Jailhouse” closed her flawless performance.