On March 7 I had the esteemed privilege of seeing They Might Be Giants. It has been many years since I last saw them and only my third time seeing them. The first time was in 1988 and was one of the most entertaining shows I ever had the pleasure of attending. They did not disappoint this time either. The first time I saw the Brooklyn pair it was just John and John (Flansburgh on vocals and guitar and Linnell on keys and accordion and vocals) and they sang along to a recording. This time they had a full-fledged band (drummer Marty Beller, bassist Danny Weinkauf and lead guitarist Dan Miller) and trumpet player Curt Ramm).
There was no supporting act. They Might Be Giants came on stage slightly after 8 p.m. and save for a 20-minute break, played until nearly 11 p.m. The show seemed much shorter than that. I had to look at my phone twice because I didn’t believe they’d played that long. They opened with Ana Ng and blended their set with old songs and new ones from their brand new album I Like Fun. To describe They Might Be Giants, the word quirky comes to mind. Their song Death, for instance (which they performed) has lyrics as follows, I returned a bag of groceries accidentally taken off the shelf before the expiration date. I came back as a bag of groceries accidentally taken off the shelf before the date stamped on myself.
All their songs contain quirky lyrics like this. Combine this with funny stories told before many of the songs, and you get the idea of just how entertaining these guys are.
When they played their song, Don’t Let’s Start the floor was a sea of bouncing bodies. This was also the first song I heard by them thirty years ago and the one that made me a life-long fan.
Their nearly three-hour show included two encores. This was an evening of funny stories, quirky lyrics, amazing musicianship, tons of humor and tons of fun. They Might Be Giants should be experienced at least once, but are better when experienced multiple times. They are pure entertainment.