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Setlist: (incomplete)


They Might Be Giants
— with Swales opening —
Northwestern University in Evanston, IL
March 30, 1996 at 8:00 PM

Fan Recaps and Comments:

After waiting 40 minutes in the sweltering heat (much as I did in the April 1994 concert at Bradley U in Peoria), They finally took the stage, first with Flansburgh (stage right*) playing a cute, simple lil ditty on his guitar. After one phrase, Graham Maby (stage center) joined in on bass. Linnell (stage left, wearing a HOBOKEN Tee, which I learned the next day is the home town of Swales) and Doherty (upstage center) completed the mix after that, with John L. singing "Older".

Immediately after this, song, they thrust into "Twisting", followed by "James K. Polk". Now at this time, we were still in about the 5th or 6th "row". I mouthed all the words to JKP, and noticed Linnell stealing glimpses toward my side (we were slightly to the left of the center, on the opposite side from JL.) After the song, Linnell again looked my direction and remarked, "It seems we have some Polk fans out there."

Before the new "She Was a Hotel Detective," John F. noted that "in this song I get to sing like a girl. And you get to figure out WHERE in the song I get to sing like a girl. Kinda like 'Where's Waldo'."

Later, they played "No One Knows My Plan", and we formed several conga line segments. This was a mistake, as the place was packed far too tightly to permit motion (thus crushing one of my friends) and we lost our prime viewing location.

Before "Reprehensible" (in which John L. did a fantastic job on his trusty clarinet - a real one, even, not the famous "Casio clarinet" he used for "Extra Savoir Faire" during the 1994 pre-John Henry tour), John F. admitted he lost his crib sheet for the song, and noted that "in this fine institution of higher learning, you all know how important a crib sheet is." After the first line, John F. stopped the rest of the band and insisted, "Let's start over from the top".

During "Spin the dial", they tuned to a jazz station. The new lead guitarist, Erik(?) went absolutely nuts. He'll be a worthy addition to the band (though I hope we still get to hear Flans' "random jammin'" now and then).

They played for about 1h20m, and played all (JF said "12") new songs. Both "Birdhouse In Your Soul" and "Snail Shell" were saved for the (single) encore.

- Chris Bongaarts