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Setlist: (incomplete and possibly out of order)
- Lie Still, Little Bottle
- 32 Footsteps
- Purple Toupee
- Shoehorn With Teeth
- Kiss Me, Son Of God
- Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
- Lucky Ball & Chain
- Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes
- Birdhouse In Your Soul
Fan Recaps and Comments:
Oak (IUP Yearbook), 1990:
If the accordion was never considered a rock 'n' roll instrument, it can be regarded as
influential as the guitar to most rock artists.The Jack Rubies opened for the Activities Board-sponsored concert, which was the finale of the Pre-Exam Jam.
That is, if you're a They Might Be Giants fan.
The two-man group. They Might Be Giants, jammed in the only way they know how with a crowd of about 700 in Fisher Auditorium on Sunday, May 6.
Backed up with the "rock metronome" and a marching band-style bass drum, Giants John Flansburgh and John Linnell opened with "Lie Still Little Bottle." complete with guttural honks on the tenor saxophone.
With the help of pre-recorded synthesizer bass guitar, drums and keyboards, they followed that with several selections from their three albums, "They Might Be Giants," "Lincoln" and "Flood," including "32 Footsteps," "Purple Toupee" and "Shoehorn with Teeth."
A "creepy" version of "Kiss Me, Son of God" followed.
The stage was free of props with the exception of the "rock metronome's" pedestal, and the Giants limited their light show to multicolored spotlights as they wrangled "Ana Ng" from the accordion.
They even introduced a new form of rock 'n' roll to Indiana — the rock polka — full of the dancy beat so many serious polka-dancers treasure. The Giants' version had a twist, several small, whining guitar solos.
They had a good rapport with the audience, which at one point, tossed some papers at the stage.
"Don't throw junk at us. " Linnell scolded.
They closed the show with two curtain calls, including the hit "Don't Let's Start" from their first album.
Indiana Gazette, May 8, 1990:
Fisher Auditorium was alive with the sound of music Saturday night [sic], as They Might Be Giants performed for a crowd of about 700.
They Might Be Giants brought their unique sound stylings to Indiana University of Pennsylvania as the final show sponsored by the Activities Board. The band is comprised of two musicians only — John Linnell, singer and accordion master extraordinaire, and John Flahnsburgh, guitarist and singer. Additional instruments were prerecorded and the pair was aided in keeping time by the "rock metronomes."They Might Be Giants has three albums to date, "They Might Be Giants," "Lincoln," and "Flood," from which they culled the material for the show.
The titles of their songs are as fanciful as their instruments of choice, including "Purple Toupee," "Istanbul," "I Lost My Lucky Ball and Chain" and "Shoehorn With Teeth." The audience participation was good, especially at the front of the auditorium. Dancing started early and loud cheering could be heard as Flahnsburgh rattled off most of the titles to their short-but-interesting songs.
To call They Might Be Giants avant-garde might be too mild a term, but when an accordion is the prime instrument of the evening the show becomes rather surreal. Other interesting song titles include "32 Footsteps," "Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes," "Birdhouse," and "Don't Let's Start." The audience was especially receptive of the latter two songs.