Photos, Concert Notes: They Might Be Giants At Music Hall Of Williamsburg

Gothamist, December 31, 2012
by Jacob Dobkin

They Might Be Giants, arguably the best pop band Brooklyn has produced in the last 30 years, played the second of three New Years weekend shows at the Music Hall of Williamsburg last night. A few last minute tickets for tonight's show were just released— have at them here. And if you can't make it, here's a review of Sunday's show, along with a setlist you can play in Spotify.

Atmosphere: our embedded photographer, Jesse Chan-Norris, sent this report:

As most of their shows are these days, the crowd at last night's TMBG show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg was a mix of kids who probably weren't born when Flood came out, and the older nerds who were already adults when Flood came out. You definitely can't go wrong when John and John announce that they were going to play songs from one side of Flood and one side of Lincoln, but seriously people, when "Birdhouse in Your Soul" starts playing, everyone in the entire venue is supposed to start hopping around like a fool. Everyone.

Other than this mild transgression, the crowd was, to be expected, very excited fans, with almost everyone mouthing the lyrics or singing outright with the band, especially easy given the Greatest Hits nature of the setlist. The ever amusing Avatars of They made an appearance, and while the set took a little dip in energy in the middle (the band noting in the that the problem with playing a slow song right after a slow song ("Lie Still, Little Bottle" followed by "Pencil Rain" is that we might expect the show to get even slower still) they picked it right back up with "Call You Mom" off of their new album Nanobots, coming in March.
The band played two encores, finally ending with "Whistling in the Dark" lit only by the spinning light of a mirror ball.


Performance: the TMBGophiles at They Might Be a Wiki had this to say:

Apollo: i'd originally planned to go to all three shows in the NYE stint but then i came down with a certain respiratory infection, so i limited myself to this particular date. i'm pretty satisfied with that, even though we didn't get nearly as much new material as the previous night. as always, "Pencil Rain" was the highest light for me. "Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had A Deal" was a bit of a surprise as well, and loads of fun. also i felt really cool singing along to the non-LP verse of "Road Movie To Berlin". there's more to say but i can't be bothered to type it on this tiny phone keyboard, so for now we'll just wait and see what crops up from the other attendees.

Wow, this was a great show. The horn section added a lot, and the arrangements of Flood and Lincoln songs were amazing. I came to the show hoping to hear "Where Your Eyes Don't Go and they opened the set with it. I've never been to a Flood or Lincoln themed show, so I heard lots of songs live for the first time, like "Hearing Aid" and "They Might Be Giants", which was fun. Other highlights were a very energetic "Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had A Deal" and an amazing version of "Whistling in the Dark" to close the show. I've seen TMBG many times over the last 16 years, and this was one of the better shows I've seen. I even enjoyed the puppets, which are usually a low point for me. Overall, the band sounds great right now, and I'm excited for the new album.