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- Dirt Bike
- The Guitar
- Snail Shell
- Sleeping In The Flowers
- Stump The Band
- Don't Let's Start
- Whistling In The Dark
- Why Does The Sun Shine?
- I Palindrome I
- Particle Man
Fan Recaps and Comments:
Performed at Bradley University's Robertson Memorial Field House. Tickets were $5 for students and $10 for the general public.
- The Stump the Band segment was Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline.
- Dirt Bike and Snail Shell were also played.
- This show occured on the day of a freak heat wave in the Peoria, IL area causing no one to leave the show not covered in sweat.
- Flansburgh made light of the fake that the Roberson Memorial Fieldhouse resembled that of an airport hanger. Stating that it was nice to finally have a "true airport hanger performacne experience."
- While I don't remember Dirt Bike being played I do remember that Sleeping In The Flowers was, and it causing a weary and over heated audience to sit down.
- Should be noted in the cover of Sweet Caroline the lyrics were changed to "Hands reaching out, crushing me, crushing you"
Review by Lori Timm, Journal Star (Peoria, IL), Apr. 26, 1994:
Accordion players, take heart: it is possible to perform in front of thousands of cheering fans.
Also well-received Sunday was "The Sun Is a Mass of Incandescent Gas," a nice little melody interrupted by spoken scientific facts about the sun.
Well, it can happen if you're in the band They Might Be Giants, a fun-loving, high-energy group that delighted 1,670 people Sunday at Bradley University's Robertson Memorial Field House.
Led by accordionist John Linnell and guitarist John Flansburgh, TMBG had the predominantly college crowd singing along, clapping and jumping for joy during a 90-minute set that showed how diverse the six-piece band can be.
The group fit guitar riffs into its take on the Tokens' song, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," and reshaped the lyrics to put the lion on a silver spaceship and talking on the phone.
"Don't Let's Start," "I Palindrome I" and "Whistling in the Dark" drew on unpredictable harmonies and assorted instruments including a glockenspiel, saxophone and trumpet.
Linnell and Flansburgh expanded their duo format recently with musicians culled from the Silos and Pere Ubu, and that extra support has made them even more willing to experiment.
They asked a security guard to name his father's favorite song, and when it turned out to be "something by Neil Diamond," it took the group only a few seconds to prepare for its own version of "Sweet Caroline."
Except for TMBG's chorus referring to hands "crushing me, crushing you," it was a dead-on cover, a perfect example of their spirit and skill. Audience members thought so, too, swaying their arms above their heads in time to the music.
That was probably the most restrained reaction. The humid Field House resembled an aerobics class as the crowd hopped and danced, matching the activity Flansburgh showed on stage.
"There are some places where we casually say, `It's like an airplane hangar in here. ' It's nice to finally have the full-blown airplane hangar experience," he joked.
There was an encouraging preview of TMBG's forthcoming fifth album, "John Henry," with a Squeeze-sounding song called "Thank You for Putting Me Back in My Snail Shell."
The last frenetic bunny hops were reserved for "Particle Man," a tale of comic book characters, and "Birdhouse," a catchy tune that earned the group heavy rotation on MTV a few years ago.
Opening act Brian Dewan established the evening's offbeat attitude -- but definitely not its energy -- with his low-key set of unique music.
The solo performer accompanied himself on a homemade electric zither that sounded like a harpsichord at times and an electric guitar at others.
Songs like "Wastepaper Basket Fire" and "Big Rock Candy Mountains" were madrigals with whimsy, and "The Letter" spelled out the humorous consequences for those who fail to keep chain letters in circulation. TMBG has that kind of fanciful perspective, but their songs remind that music can be fun without being sloppy or stupid. "Your Racist Friend" is a smart commentary on encounters with bigots.