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10/26/2019 Mike Doughty, The Ghost of Mr. Oberon (Rochester, NY @ Flour City Station)

By Eric | October 27, 2019 9:49 am


Matt and I will always see Mike whenever he comes to Rochester, and while this was no exception, this show was different for a couple reasons. Firstly, this tour was in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Soul Coughing’s Ruby Vroom, which digging back into in anticipation of the show I forgot how much I really really liked that album. Secondly, Mike was doing meet and greets on this tour, for a very reasonable price. Thirdly, it had just been Matt’s 40th birthday, so this was his birthday present from me!

We met up outside Flour City for a couple minutes and then we were ushered inside, took a peek at the merch, and then posted up in a semi-circle around the lone chair on the floor. There was only about 10 of us, nice and small and intimate. Mike came out with his guitar and greeted us all, and then asked for requests for the small solo acoustic set. Someone asked for Bottom Of A Well, so that was first, followed by Grey Ghost. Then Russell got requested but was shot down, but Na Na Nothing was accepted and played. The email for the meet and greet said three songs, but we got not one, not two, but three more! Mike said they had to be his choices however, and they were pretty deep cuts – Where Have You Gone, The Only Answer, and a cover of a song called Train To Chicago by a band called Drink Me (which we actually saw Mike do at the 11/2014 Water Street show). After the songs he came around and did photos and chit-chat with all of us, and couldn’t have been more gracious. Well worth the price of admission. The whole time there was a woman walking around taking pictures, but we didn’t think too much of it…

So the meet and greet ends, we head over to Salinger’s to kill some time and some brain cells, and then walk back for the show proper. We get in and soon are greeted by our opener, The Ghost of Mr. Oberon. I don’t think we ever caught the explanation, but backed by Doughty’s band, Mr. Oberon was a ghost in a sheet, then revealed to be woman dressed like a sleazy car salesman performing essentially drunk-style lounge-esque covers of Soul Coughing and Doughty songs from the other two not-Ruby Vroom albums (Sugar Plant, How Many Cans, St. Louise, to name a couple), with the patter between songs to match. Like Weekend At Bernies but if Bernie talked. It was bewildering yet awesome. What a riot.

Finally it’s time for Mike. With acknowledgement of why we’re all here, he did Super Bon Bon and Circles first, before playing Ruby Vroom front to back. Mike sounded great, the band was great, the place was packed, and everyone was happy to be there. Not much else to say other than we had a fantastic time. It all came full circle at the end during Janine, as Mike brought up the woman who did the original answering machine recording on the album version, Rachel Murdy. The same woman who was taking pictures during the meet and greet. The same woman who was The Ghost of Mr. Oberon. It all finally made sense. Sort of.

Matt and I left thoroughly entertained, and we’re certainly part of the 5% nation of Lemony Fresh.

Meet and Greet Setlist
Looking At The World From The Bottom Of A Well
Grey Ghost
Na Na Nothing
Where Have You Gone
The Only Answer
Train To Chicago (Drink Me cover)

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Main set
Super Bon Bon
Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago
Sugar Free Jazz
Casiotone Nation
Blue Eyed Devil
Bus to Beelzebub
True Dreams of Wichita
Screenwriter’s Blues
Moon Sammy
Supra Genius
City of Motors
Uh, Zoom Zip
Down to This
Mr. Bitterness

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Had a fantastic time with Mr. @mike_doughty_ last night @flourcitystation – first at the meet and greet / soundcheck where we got a 6-song acoustic set and Mike was very gracious with everyone. Then a wild opener @ghostofmroberon doing almost lounge-esque covers of Soul Coughing stuff. And the main event – Mike and his band playing Ruby Vroom front to back, capping it off with a duet on Janine with the woman who did the original answering machine message: @rachel.murdy !! (Who also may or may not be Mr. Oberon as well lol) #mikedoughty #mdoughty #rubyvroom #rubyvroom1994 #soulcoughing #meetandgreet #soundcheck #concertpics #flourcitystation

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