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Setlist: (incomplete and possibly out of order)
- Countdown Intro
- AKA Driver
- Don't Let's Start
- Ana Ng
- Sleeping In The Flowers
- Meet James Ensor
- Dig My Grave
- Stomp Box
- The End Of The Tour
- I Palindrome I
- The Statue Got Me High
- Why Does The Sun Shine?
- The Guitar
- Your Racist Friend
Fan Recaps and Comments:
Tickets were $15 in advance and $17 at the door.
Review by Jane Scott, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), Nov. 6, 1994:
They Might Be Giants singer/guitarist John Flansburgh suddenly jumped down into the mosh pit during a polka. Fans surrounded him and played his guitar.The semi-finale, "Istanbul (But Not Constantinople)" was so fiery it should have been the finale. Incidentally, Flansburgh broke all his guitar strings at the end of second group of encores. That's a signal that we can't come back, he said.
"Hmm. They broke two strings," he said afterward, surveying the damage. "They usually break all of them."
It was that kind of a show Friday night at the Agora Theatre. Offbeat, wide-ranging, a little wacky, but a lot of fun.
But the biggest difference was smiling Tony Maimone on bass. Co-founder Flansburgh introduced the former Pere Ubu bassist early in the 25-song set and gave him his first shine time on the fourth song, "AKA Driver." Made sense. Maimone had co-written it and gave a roaring depth to the song. Maimone's stylish notes drove the beat in "Don't Let's Start" to the finale, Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein."
They Might Be Giants may not be everyone's cup of tea, of course. But for the mostly young, sold-out crowd of 1,700 it was a huge turn-on.
The group was a Brooklyn, N.Y., six-pack that grew from a duo formed in 1986 by Flansburgh and John Linnell. Drummer Brian Doherty and trumpet players Randy Amos and Jim O'Connor have also replaced the original drum machine. Flansburgh was the tall, chunky one with glasses and a Yellow Springs, Ohio T-shirt (he attended Antioch College for two years). Linnell was the skinny singer on accordion, saxophone and keyboards.
Their songs are relatively simple. Their single, "Snail Shell," from their current "John Henry" album might have been a little weak on words, but came over with a sweep-you-up beat. The best songs were ones with word-music impact such as "Your Racist Friend," though.