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Setlist: (incomplete and possibly out of order)
- Whistling In The Dark
- Birdhouse In Your Soul
- Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
- Why Does The Sun Shine?
- Number Three
- Chess Piece Face
- Don't Let's Start
- She's An Angel
Fan Recaps and Comments:
Tickets were $20.
Review by Roger Catlin, Hartford Courant, Oct. 16, 1994:
There were more funny hats in the audience of the Palace Theater in New Haven Saturday night than there were on stage. Yet the two-man act of They Might Be Giants began its days in clubs with more silly props than it had instruments.
Having toured with a full band last time out, this was not exactly new, but it seemed the twosome seemed to be especially pouring on the volume and noise on tunes like "She's an Angel," which seemed brutalized by it.
Graduating to theater venues, for the first show on their new tour, They Might Be Giants has also officially expanded to a four-piece plus a horn section -- so it looks like a conventional band even if it still doesn't sound like one.
And with songs that are as unusual, wordy and skewed as any pop, there is an added undercurrent of musicianship, an undeniably stronger sound -- and no room for props whatsoever.
John Flansburgh and John Linnell still helm the outfit, alternating songs and vocal leads. Clearly there were bugs to be shaken out of the show; Flansburgh apologized for spending most of one new song staring at his hands to keep up with all the complicated chord changes on his guitar. Linnell suggested that he not be standing right in front of the horn section.
The two must have been pleased with the adoring audience, who not only recognized all the new material from their latest album "John Henry" but sang along lustily to complicated mouthfuls as "Whistling in the Dark" and "Birdhouse in Your Soul."
It takes a smart and slightly warped audience to follow the strange moves of They Might Be Giants , and the Palace was filled with them, some in fezes. And when the band played one of only three songs it didn't write, "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)," a line of eight in the audience stood to spell the word ISTANBUL.
The other two cover songs, to give you an idea of the range here, were a 1959 educational ditty "Why Does the Sun Shine?" and a fairly reverent version of Steve Miller's "The Joker," which came at the end of "Twisting," one of four songs in two encores.
Music ranged from their earliest work, "Number Three," "Chess Piece Face" and the ever-fresh "Don't Let's Start" and included selections from each of their albums, so judiciously so, that by the time they really started concentrating on the new songs, it was about the time most bands wind up.
So pacing might be another thing for the two Johns to work on.