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Setlist: (incomplete and possibly out of order)
- The Guitar
- I Palindrome I
- Why Does The Sun Shine?
- Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
- Stump The Band
Fan Recaps and Comments:
Performed at Eastern Illinois University's Lantz Gymnasium. Tickets were $5 for students and senior citizens and $8 for the general public.
Review by Debbie Carlson, Journal Gazette (Mattoon, IL), Apr. 25, 1994:
You have to respect a rock band that plays Frank Sinatra before coming on stage.They Might Be Giants came back for an encore after about five minutes and played three songs, including "Birdhouse in Your Soul," their biggest hit. Then John Linnell, the other founding Giant, played a musical game with the band and the audience, moving his arms up and down to signal whether they should play, cheer or keep quiet.
They Might Be Giants, who performed Saturday in Lantz Gym at Eastern Illinois University, played part of a song from the Chairman of the Board before launching into a one and one-half hour set of their hits and new music from their forthcoming record, "John Henry."
Once they took the stage, the crowd leapt to their feet and danced there for nearly all of the show, which included a few slow numbers not really suitable for dancing.
But the small crowd didn't seem to mind. About 1,000 people filled the floor and spilled sparsely into the balcony bleachers of Lantz Gym. And They Might Be Giants didn't seem to mind the small group because those there were devoted.
They opened with a lesser-known song, but when they played "The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)," it started a cheering frenzy by fans who moshed and crowd surfed.
This, though, didn't sit well with one of the main Giants, John Flansburgh. "I know we are in a sporting arena, but don't try to be professional athletes," Flansburgh said. "Be nice to the strangers around you. We're a mellow, loving band." The obedient group quit the crowd surfing, and kept the moshing to a minimum.
The new songs weren't enjoyed as much as their hits, such as "I Palindrome I," "The Sun" and "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)," but the crowd, split between high school age and college students, was still enthralled.
The band doesn't have a busy light show or television screens with different images floating across -- it's just six guys playing their funny instruments (accordion, glockenspiel, electric ukulele) and having a great time.
A quiet, awkward time came when Flansburgh announced it was time to "Stump the Band." He asked the people to name their father's favorite song and they'd try and play it. They couldn't do Johnny Mathis' "Chances Are" (too hard) or some other songs, but finally found one to do. During a "band conference," Flansburgh said, "Some people say this is they're favorite time during a They Might Be Giants show."
They settled on a decent cover of Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville."