Previously on Lost

<img src="" alt=" " />Previously on <i>Lost</i> had a night to remember.  WALT!!! ...

Previously on Lost

Normally at QRO, we try to maintain some distance from that which we report on, mostly in terms of writing in the third person and not as some fanboy/hater blog.  But I pretty much have to throw all of that out of the window for my coverage of the penultimate performance of Previously on Lost.  Tragic misses, joyous surprises, and more Lost than you can shake a stick at made for a seminal evening.

[note: if you don’t know Lost, if you don’t love Lost, if your world isn’t ending at approximately 11:30 PM Eastern/10:30 PM Central on Sunday, just stop reading now – go pick up Seasons 1-5 on DVD and get ready for the greatest television experience of your life…]

Previously on Lost is Jeff Curtin & Adam Schatz of the band Family TimCurtin & Schatze (QRO interview with both), who a few years ago got the idea to write songs about each new episode of Lost, right after that episode aired, posting it on their MySpace page by the Sunday following the new episode.  This occurred during Season Four, a.k.a. the writer’s strike-shortened season, so Curtin & Schatz weren’t overloaded and were able to release their Lost-inspired work as an album.  From there, the world’s greatest/only ‘recap rock band’ went on to play the likes of The Kennedy Center, as well as hosting & performing for season premiere & finale parties at Brooklyn’s Bell House (QRO venue review), with stage scenery that included a beach chair & cut-out of a beach girl.  And for this final season, they’ve been hosting viewings of each new episode at the new Knitting Factory in Brooklyn (QRO venue review).  With the end of the acclaimed series near, not only did Previously on Lost book a sold-out Series Finale party this Sunday at Bell House, but also played a penultimate show at Knitting Factory for the second-to-last episode on Tuesday, May 18th.
Schatz & Curtin

Dharma-brand beerNot that I saw that performance – not really.  I’d thought that they performed after the episode aired, so arrived at 9:00 PM to watch the episode on the projection screen, and then watch the band.  Except that they’d played before, so I arrived to see them exiting the stage as the screen came down and fans arranged chairs to watch “What They Died For”.  Kicking myself, I was almost about to go right then & there, but instead decided I might as well watch the show – and see if someone in the band could put me on the list for the Bell House show.  Watching Lost, not sitting home alone on an HD TiVo, but with a group of people that I didn’t know, at a venue I hadn’t been to since it was the new Luna Lounge (QRO venue review), and with commercials & beer, made for an interesting new experience.  People cheered at moments like alt-Desmond Hume beating up alt-Benjamin Linus, or the introductory “Previously on Lost” (obviously), laughed at alt-Ben trying to stop alt-Desmond from running over alt-John Locke again or pretty much anything Miles Straum said, wowed at Smokey taking out the (previously) immortal Richard Alpert [update: not dead – but not immortal anymore, either] or Ben taking out rival Charles Widmore, and even groaned at ghost Jacob telling Kate Austen that him crossing her name off his list was “just a line of chalk on a cave wall” and didn’t really mean anything.  Still, the crowd was quiet during the important parts, and no one shouted out their own personal opinions like at some grindhouse theater (it was a group decision to cheer the unloved extra Zoe’s inconsequential death…).  And the bar was serving Dharma beer – just PBR cans wrapped in paper printed with the D.I.’s ubiquitous logo, but almost as good as if it had been delivered by airdrop or Roger ‘Workman’ Linus himself.

While at the bar for a Dharma brew during the last commercial break, another patron/viewer told me that, among the people who had annoyingly been walking behind me towards the backstage entrance, the people I’d ignored while fixated on the episode that was running, were the real Jin & Hurley – actors Daniel Dae-Kim & Jorge Garcia!  In town to do press & talk shows to promote the series finale, they were hidden in the dark corner to the house-left of the stage floor, in front of the backstage door, watching their episode, and watching their fans watching their episode.  A number of folks there for the show/episode could have easily missed the special guests (like the reporter from Rolling Stone who was there – and left following the episode screening), but Previously on Lost were informed, and did the only thing they could – get up on stage play again!

the late Jin Kwon (Daniel Dae-Kim)Curtin & Schatz & the rest of the band returned to the stage (luckily, there had been no time between their previous performance & the episode to take their equipment & stage scenery off), with Schatz telling the crowd,

I’ll let you figure it out on your own, but first, I think we’re just gonna have to sing a song that we already sung tonight.  Earlier this evening, I proclaimed that Jin was dead… But he’s not dead.  He may be with us this very instant…

And, as a “personal favor”, they performed “Wherever Sun Go” again, “even though this song is incredibly out-of-date, related to Season Four” – “And then again to Season Six” Curtin chimed in, ‘cause this was the episode after the episode where Jin – and Sun, this time, too – actually did die, “We’re gonna do it.  I don’t know what else to say.  Here we go!”
cheer a lot louder when they're in the room

Jeff CurtinWhile the crowd “cheer[s] a lot louder when they’re in the actual room…”, not-in-the-room Naveen Andrews also got his due with the funky torch song “The Ballad of Sayid Jarrah”, as Previously on Lost had opened up the forum to requests: “As long as we’re in the business of playing songs we’ve already played tonight for the second time, if anyone has any that they’d like to hear again, please let me know.”  In response to the many different shouts, Schatz mock-demanded, “One at a time!”

But the audience didn’t just request songs that the band had already played that night, because how could Previously on Lost not play Driveshaft’s “You All Everybody”?!?  Of course, Lost’s one-hit-wonder’s one hit is really just the chorus, as Schatz & Curtin joked, but they went ahead with it anyway, telling the crowd they were just going to sing that chorus over-and-over, and the crowd better sing it as well.  And “who couldn’t relate to not liking those who are ‘acting like you stupid people, wearing expensive clothes’?”  Someone even held up an actual lighter, and not the lighter app, as Curtin made sure to point out when the song was done…

Adam SchatzAnother request for requests brought “everyone shouting the same thing”: a demand for “Be My Constant”, where Schatz encouraged the crowd to embrace the spirit of the Desmond-Penny tune and embrace someone near to you, but “only do it if you haven’t seen them on television before…” – saving Dae-Kim from the ladies trying to show their love, and Garcia from the dudes trying to embrace the dude, not to mention, “If you hug anyone in the room you’ve seen on television before, you will be arrested…” “Immediately!” Curtin mock-warned, before Previously on Lost broke something on the drum set with the song’s introduction.
Previously on Lost

Curtin on theremin?The penultimate song was Season Five’s “The War Is Coming” (Previously on Lost also wrote a few songs for episodes after Season Four), prefacing that they didn’t know at the time what was coming, and they still don’t – “And there’s no one in the room you can ask about whatsoever…”  The hoedown led the band into the night’s closing “Prayer”, written to honor the dead, because “If there’s one thing we’ve learned from last, it’s that people are going to die…” “But then they’ll live in another reality” Curtin cut in, with which Schatz cut back in, “But then they’ll die there too…”

From life, to death, to after after death, then even after after death, when they come back as a ghost, and then again after that as a kid ghost, and then come back as a real dude, and then you think they’re dead, but they’re not really dead!  Seriously, what the fuck is going on?!?

Schatz on some sort of hornSchatz & Curtin led a church tent revival-style prayer for Lost, “it’s sequel, Pirates of the Caribbean”, never-going-to-happen Season Seven (otherwise known as ‘the zombie season’) – after someone in the crowd shouted back, “Season Seven!”, Schatz kept going, “If there are those who’d like to repeat the words I just said, now’s the time to do it,” requesting both shouted amen’s and sung refrains of “I once was found / But now I’m Lost / And all my friends are dead…”  Curtin threw down, “We’re talking about Shannon, we’re talking about Boone, we’re talking hardcore PLostiesabout Keamy if you will!” (Schatz adding that if you wanted to see Keamy, go see Robin Hood, “The movie’s okay” – “Robin Hood sucked!” Curtin had to cut in – “But Keamy’s amazing…”)  An undeniably and understandably energetic, ecstatic, elated show left even the hyperactive Schatz speechless by the close, “I’ve got nothing else to say, but I don’t want this night to end…”
Schatz with Darlton

After Previously on Lost had to end, many stuck around to meet, greet, get their photo taken with, get an autograph from & stand in awe of Garcia & Dae-Kim (many asking for signature on flattened out Dharma beer wrappers, since no one came prepared with items for them to sign, and those were the Lost-iest/easiest to find/easiest to write on) – and showrunners Damon Lindlehof & Carlton Cuse, a.k.a. ‘Darlton’, a.k.a. the brains behind the Garcia & Burkshow/only ones who know what the hell is going on (even creator J.J. Abrams is confused by now…).  Not wanting to be a stammering, star-struck fan, I didn’t approach, because, as another crowd member and I remarked, what could you say to any of them that they hadn’t heard before?  But I did have the excuse that I was photographing for the band, and indeed was the only ‘professional’ photographer (i.e. with SLR & external flash) there – take that, Brooklyn Vegan!  So the band was more than willing for me to take their photo with the stars, and after talking with writer/director Bryan Burk (who I totally Curtin on chairdidn’t recognize as ‘somebody’ – I wasn’t the only one to overlook him, but knew he was somebody, just couldn’t remember who…), he got me backstage with the band & stars (there was a beefy security guard at the backstage door – a.k.a. the only black person there…), then got them on stage to take a big group photo (which one band member unfortunately came to late for – QRO photo).

Schatz on girlIt’s been a strangely TV-meets-music-heavy week for me, from our recap of All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival (QRO recap), curated by The Simpsons creator Matt Groening (QRO photo of Groening & someone at QRO), to reviewing the second soundtrack volume of NBC/DirecTV’s Friday Night Lights (QRO review).  And there had been some pretty heavy ups-and-downs last week, from finding the camera I’d thought I’d lost to my computer breaking down (i.e., I spilled something on it…).  But nothing could top this (will anything, ever?…).  It’s right up there with going to Maxwell’s (QRO venue review) and not only Stephen Malkmus recognizing me after his & The Jicks show (QRO review), but also telling someone that the first show I ever saw was Yo La Tengo (QRO live review) there at Maxwell’s – and later realizing it had been Georgia from Yo La Tengo that I had told it to.  It’s right up there with face-to-face interviewing Grant Hart (QRO interview) of my favorite band ever, Hüsker Dü (QRO spotlight on).  And it’s maybe even better than face-to-face interviewing Land of Talk’s Elizabeth Powell (QRO interview), The Jealous Girlfriends’ Holly Miranda (QRO interview), Los Campesinos!’s Aleks Campensinos! (QRO interview) or Ra Ra Riot’s Alexandra Lawn (QRO interview) – and one of those interviews was one-on-one, without pants…
Previously on Lost

Or let me thrown down a few more quotes from Schatz during the show:

If you guys got bucket lists, go and check that one off…

You don’t quite feel like the day your first-born graduates from college, but this is a good show…  It’s because of you, it’s because of us, it’s because of someone else… maybe, but I don’t think so…

Raise your glasses high in the air – but don’t wave them around like you just don’t care, because you will get the people around you wet!…

don't wave that Dharma beer around like Arzt w/ a stick of dynamite[that last one’s just some good advice in general]

dude!Of course, my computer was broken, so it was two weeks before all the photos were up.  And Rolling Stone decided not to use my photo of the band & cast & crew on stage together (which would have, in one fell swoop, proven to my parents & all else that my obsessions with music & TV paid off – in the awesomest way possible…).  And Lost is still ending tomorrow.  And so is Previously on Lost.  But damn it if they didn’t find a way to make a great, great thing somehow even greater.
Lost with Previously on Lost

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