Friday night was the season finale of John Moe and John Munson's interview and performance series Wits at the Fitzgerald Theater, and they went out with a bang. In addition to bringing together highly imaginative and fascinating author Neil Gaiman and call-in guests Wil Wheaton (from Stand by Me, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the internet) and Adam Savage (from Mythbusters), the night featured performances by vivid songwriter and storyteller Josh Ritter.
If you missed Friday night's show, you can watch Josh Ritter's segments online now thanks to videos uploaded by MPR.
Ritter opened with a performance of "The Curse," which Gaiman seemed especially intrigued by; the song weaves a dark, heartfelt tale of mummy love that was reminiscent of Gaiman's own writing.
Next up, Gaiman took a try at songwriting himself by performing "The Problem With Saints," a song he wrote for the 8in8 project, which was a collaborating between Gaiman, Ben Folds, Damian Kulash of OK Go, and Gaiman's wife, Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls. Here, Gaiman and Ritter were backed by Munson and his New Standards bandmate Steve Roehm, the Ascots (a group of back-up vocalists that included Jeremy Messersmith), and the Brass Messengers, who Gaiman joked followed him around at all times in case he wanted to suddenly break into song.
Once the show had finished taping, Ritter stuck around to perform another song, "Galahad," solo for the audience, and it was a sweet ending to an entertaining night of comedy, thought-provoking interviews, and songs.
The grand finale of the night was another all-hands-on-deck sing-along, as is tradition at Wits, and this time around it featured, as Gaiman requested, "a song with several murders in it" -- the Beatles' "Maxwell's Silver Hammer." MPR says they plan on uploading more videos of Wits to their site soon, so keep an eye on their page for more photos and videos from Friday night.