Shows/1990-04-25

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Setlist: (Incomplete!)

They Might Be Giants
— with Tall Tales and True, The Jack Rubies opening —
Central Park Athletic Club in Milwaukee, WI
April 25, 1990 at 8:00 PM


Fan Recaps and Comments:

Tickets were $14.50 in advance, $16.50 at the door.

Review from The Milwaukee Sentinel (Apr. 26, 1990):

John Flansburgh and John Linnell may look like those guys in the next apartment who never quite get their socks right.
But what comes out of their band, They Might Be Giants , is anything but mundane. Wednesday night's concert at the Central Park Athletic Club reaffirmed that you never can tell where the fresh perspective will come from. It may even be from that slightly off-center guy next door.
Using some sort of prerecorded rhythm track, or even the metronome, to supply the basics in beat, the two musicians offer accordion, guitar and saxophone ranging from heavy metal to polka to bop jazz to enhance their lyric sensibility.
The crowd was with them all the way, applauding such pieces as "Someone Keeps Moving My Chair" and the newer material off the adventurous new album, "Flood."
The song "Particle Man" showcased a more developed, aggressive stance that maintained that manic edge of the earlier, less polished productions.

The lyrics, as always, are freshly off center, which gives these guys their charm.

Review from The Milwaukee Journal (Apr. 26, 1990):

Linnel and Flansburgh shared the stage with a set of metronomes that provided decorative effect as well as tick-tock rhythms. Otherwise the music was on tape. Space normally occupied by bass and drums became Flansburgh's playroom, where he romped with his instrument. Linnel hugged his squeeze box quietly, moving little.
It was a wisely naive presentation, befitting songs that often seemed the product of a word- association game played by precocious kids out to spoof their therapist. But a close listen to the lyrics revealed method and message in their madness. "Hearing Aid," best described as reggae knocked on its head and seeing stars, was a service-industry tale revolving around Frosty the Supervisor and the benefits of selective deafness. "Lucky Ball and Chain" was a drunken, emotionally ambivalent ramble through a broken relationship. "Your Racist Friend" urged a direct stand against the persistence of intolerable social attitudes.
Musical roots were hard to identify. Sometimes the gorgeously wrought melodies suggested "Sgt. Pepper" Beatles or even "Pet Sounds" Beach Boys. Perhaps the clue to their source of inspiration was their cover of the Four Lads' "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)." Whatever the influences, however, they were scarcely recognizable. The catchy melodies and hooks made the music seem deceptively easy. You could chalk up the Giants' sound as Top-40 from a parallel universe.

Linnel and Flansburgh proved wry comics between numbers. "We'll be weighing less as the show goes on," Linnel said, referring to the room's uncomfortably steamy, Turkish bath ambience.