Steve Martin yukked it up at the State Theatre

Star Tribune photo by David Brewster

Do you really want a set list from Steve Martin’s performance Sunday with the Steep Canyon Rangers at the State Theatre? Or would you rather hear some of the jokes he told?
OK, let’s compromise. Here are some the songs they played, not necessarily in this order:
Pitkin County Turnaround, Daddy Played the Banjo, Go Away Stop Turn Around Come Back, Saga of the Old West, Words Unspoken, Lovin Pretty Women (by the Steep Canyon Rangers w/o Martin), Atheists Don’t Have No Songs (a perfect bluegrass as comedy song), Rare Bird Alert, Wally on the Run (with an appearance by Steve's dog, Wally),  Jubilation Day, The Crow (with guests Tony Ellis and the Punch Brothers) ENCORE Orange Blossom Special/ King Tut
And now for some of Martin’s wild and crazy jokes. Well, just some of the better ones:
"If the tour goes as well as expect, we'll lose only $12,000."
He said the concept of this tour is a little weird like “I hear Jerry Seinfeld is doing a concert with songs he wrote for the bassoon.”
“I played Minneapolis 40 years ago. So there are a lot of familiar faces in the audience.”
“That might be bad poety but it’s a pretty good country song.”
“You know we don’t have any hits. Well, ‘Candle in the Wind.’”
"This is a song Rolling Stone called ‘worthwhile illegal download.’ "
He already knows that his next album (due in 2011) will be a hit “because the week of release I’m going to die of a Vicodin overdose.”
He kept his set list on an iPad and feigned like he was tweeting during the show. He said the audience was laughing out loud and then spelled out his Tweet: “l-a-u-g-h-i-n-g o-u-t l-o-u-d.”
He described a song he wrote from personal experience: “I Think My Masseuse Is Too Chatty”
He was talking about traveling on the bus, playing cards, recapping the night’s gig, chowing down. “I know this goes on because they tell me when they call me in my private plane.”
“The next song is a sing along. It has no lyrics.”
If you want more about Martin’s music, read my full review.
As for the Punch Brothers, who opened the show, here’s just one joke. Frontman Chris Thile dedicated “Next to the Trash” by deadpanning: “I’d like to send this out to anyone who’s been in a relationship before.”
In short, the progressive Punch Brothers were creative, exciting and wow-inducing. Musically, they stole the show. Here is their complete set list (which included six songs from their second CD “Antifogmatic,” due out on Tuesday):
Watch ‘At/ Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground (White Stripes) / Alex/ Don’t Need No/ Brakeman’s Blues (Jimmie Rodgers) / This Is the Song (Good Luck) / Reptilia/ Next to the Trash/ Missy/ Rye Whiskey

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