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- Whistling In The Dark
- Doctor Worm
- She's Actual Size
- She's An Angel
- Working Undercover For The Man
- I Palindrome I
- Battle For The Planet Of The Apes
- Absolutely Bill's Mood
- They Got Lost
- I Am Not Your Broom
- Why Does The Sun Shine?
- (some song about the cannon)
- James K. Polk
- Your Racist Friend
- Birdhouse In Your Soul
- Mr. Tambourine Man
- The Guitar
- No One Knows My Plan
- Particle Man
- The Famous Polka (instrumental)
- New York City
Fan Recaps and Comments:
- This was my fourth TMBG concert and was, by far, the best attended show. Does that mean They are becoming more popular?
- I saw many more people who were older than me (I'm 23) at this show than at any previous show.
- The crowd was completely and perfectly incapable of forming a Conga line for No One Knows My Plan, even after Flans was egging everyone on.
- Battle for the Planet of the Apes is worse than lame. I have no clue why They waste 5 valuable concert minutes to do this song.
- I heard a whole bunch of songs that I had never heard in concert before. That was very cool.
- The Johns seemed to be in a very good mood tonight.
- I can't remember the order of the setlist of the Fillmore show, but someone already posted it in another review, so it's not important.
- This is my second TMBG concert, the first being at the Edge in March 1997 in Palo Alto, and I'd have to say that TMBG went all-out and put together a really hilarious show.
- Stuff like Snail Shell, Ana Ng, and The Statue GMH wasn't on the setlist, but they compromised by playing some great unexpected tunes, such as Absolutely Bill's Mood and Window.
- The sound was pretty well-managed, and the Johns were really funny -- I don't know why someone called the Battle Of The Planet Of The Apes "lame," me and my dad were cracking up throughout the entire song while everyone was chanting "APES! APES! APES! APES!" Plus, even though the song is generally instrumental, it's really great.
- Also, Flans' egging on for everyone to form a conga line for No One Knows My Plan was really funny. "Everybody conga.....I'M NOT F**KING KIDDING!" They got at least one 20-person conga line going throughout the moshpit.
- The only bad news was that I had to miss most of the encore to be able to get home -- I saw Exquisite Dead Guy (my dad loved the puppet heads even more than he did at the first show) and most of Spy, up to when Flans was yelling at each band member to "TELL HIM WHAT THEY WANT, WHAT THEY REALLY REALLY WANT!"
- Luckily, it looks like all I missed were songs like Lie Still, Little Bottle and Shoehorn With Teeth. While I like both of those songs and missed out on seeing Flans with The Stick, I wasn't overly disappointed, as I would've been if they'd played Ana Ng for an encore. They didn't play Ana Ng at either show I went to, and I KNOW they've been including the song on recent setlists for the STD tour. Am I forced to live in an Ana Ng-less TMBG tour world forever?
- Anyway, the Johns were great as always, and even with the abundance of Flood songs on the set list (Whistling In The Dark, Birdhouse, Twisting, Racist Friend) they were all among my favorite songs from the album. Gotta hand it to the Johns for always creating a great show.
- Well, we were treated to a very fun show by Dan Dan and Dan, Jim and Tim, And John and John. I was there with two other people from Berkeley and a friend of one of those people, and we all had a blast. And now, for your amusement, I'm going to comment on everything that happened during the show that immediately springs to memory.
- But first, in case you get bored of everything else, I'll say now that I got the autographs of Dan (the drummer) and Dan (the guitar player) and got flan's broken guitar strings and a pick.
- The opening act -- I don't even remember who or what it was, other than an absolutely generic rockband -- was rather umm... not much fun. It had much of the audience staring dumbly at the stage, and a few having fun mocking the band. If you were there, I was with the group that was waving their arms at one point during the 3rd song or so... So I was really glad when that ended.
- Then there was the break, and then came the band. They played triboro, and I wondered a bit where flansburgh was, as all we had was a Linnell -- who was pointing a lot at the balcony, which should have been a clue -- So finally they got a spotlight on flansburgh in the balcony with the bass drum, and they played Whistling in the Dark, which was very cool... And boy did flans look like he enjoyed that drum &%^)
- Then we got Dr. Worm, which was very good, but nothing new, and She's Actual Size, which was very good, but nothing new. When I say nothing new, I mean that they were, for the most part, what was on Severe Tire Damage, except for the inclusion of the introduction of Dan during the middle of She's Actual Size.
- Then we had Twisting, which is one of those songs off flood, along with Racist Friend and Lucky Ball and Chain, which just sort of lump together in my mind, but it was definately cool live. Heck, every song was cool live... Twisting went straight into She's An Angel, and it was a good performance, but again still faithful to Severe Tire Damage.
- Then they had a new song called "We're working undercover for the man", which was pretty cool right up to the point where the song abruptly ended and John said "We should write another part for that song". Yes, they should.
- Then we had "Another Brand new song, I Palindroem I", which was nice to hear, and pretty cool live. Then we had Battle for the Planet of the Apes, and frankly, the Johns improv wasnae too hot, but Dan Dan Dan Jim and Tim were pretty rocking. Yes, the people definately won in this case.
- Then there was "Absolutely Bill's Mood", which was performed quite well and had a very amusing bit in which John and John kinda stood there trying to decide whether or not they should finish the word "insane". Well, it was cool. Maybe you had to have been there...
- Then we had "They Got Lost", which had an amusing Intro... Flansburgh asked Linnell if they should play it too fast in the beginning and too slow at the end, and Linnell related the question to the audience, who applauded. Flansburgh then pointed out that "Well, I didn't hear the BAND cheering John. We're important too".. and after a brief exchange, Flansburgh said "We'll compromise and please nobody." So we had They Got Lost, pretty much the same as on Severe Tire Damage, except that "Dan turned to Dan and said I see somebody walking this way"
- Then they just went off into "I am not your broom", which was very cool, no instruments, sung pretty slow.
- And then The Sun, which was very rocking, but alack, no alternate lyrics. Straight of Severe Tire Damage, again. Oh well.
- Then Flans started singing "I'm an artist, and I've grown self consious aobut my shins.." which turned out to be an improv about the confetti cannon.."What's this cannon... doing on the stage...?" It was pretty cool, actually.
- Then we had a faithful rendition of James K. Polk, and had the firing of the cannon. Shoom. I got some confetti along with my other artifacts from the show.
- And then they played Window... Which was cool. That's about all. It's one of those songs that doesn't in particularly stick out where it is on John Henry, but in the concert it was pretty cool, and that is one of the songs actually still stuck in my head.
- And then we had Racist Friend, another of those songs off flood which become mushy in my head.. but again, it was very groovy live.
- And then we had S~e~X~X~Y... dedicated to ... The Roadcrew? And birdhouse in your soul. Both of these were, again, pretty much the same as found on Severe Tire Damage.
- And then the cool cover of Mr. Tambourine Man... Linnell on the accordion with Flans singing.. it was very good.
- And then that went into the Guitar, which rocked, adn in which flans broke his guitar strings (one of which is now in my posession) and after which they handed flans a new guitar.. with a price tag on it. It was amusing.
- And then the conga line from hell. The only purpose it served was to get me closer to the stage, it seemed. and I didn't hear much of No One knows my plan, but I am now sure of the fact that people from the bay area cannae conga. ::sighs:: Oh well. My friends and i tried real hard.
- Then Mammal, which was .. well, unexpected, but still cool.
- And then Particle Man, which I found neat for some reason.. Linnell sang one verse with no instruments going at all, and it sounded very nice.. I just don't remember which verse. I think it might have been triangle hates person...
- And then the Famous Polka, sans lyrics. Very fun.
- And then New York City, which was pretty much the same as off Factory Showroom...
- And then the first Encore.. Equisite Dead Guy was very cool with the heads, because they only had the lights on the heads the whole time, and well.. it was just cool.
- Spy had a nutty long instrumental improv... first with Flans directing, then linnell took over and began conducting Dan and Flans.. It was pretty amusing, watching the concentration evident in dans face as he tried to read Linnell...
- and then they got out the stick. The performance of this song had to have been my favorite. The stick on the ground with Lie Still Little Bottle, along with Linnell on the bari was just plain awesome. I loved it a bunch. Great great great!
- And then Istanbul. It seemed fast to me, but it was cool.
- And then Shoehorn, and good god is Dan funny when playing that glock..
- Flans - "This is our Glockenspiel technician" (not referring to dan, but to a member of the roadcrew.)
- And then Don't let's start.
- All in all, a very awesome show. My friend got to shake Linnell's hand at around 11:20, but I was off talking to Dan Hickey at that point, so missed Linnell... Awww me. Oh well.
- My teeth are already chattering in anticipation of the next time they bother to come near here again...
Mikey J. LeBeau:
- Agreed. GREAT fucking show... I was in that conga line, it was wild, I was being thrown this way and that, but it rocked.. I ended up being smack dab in the middle right up in front near the Johns... They actually played Don't Let's Start at the very end, after Shoehorn with Teeth. I'm so happy, it was my first TMBG concert and I LOVED it... Besides, I was about the only 14-year-old type guy there, so I think Linnell recognized me from talking to me the night before on Loveline... During Don't Let's Start he really made a lotta eye-contact/smiling at me while I was jumping around, and he waved directly at me when he exited the stage. =) I might post a full-on review later on....
- What kind of band would demand the crowd to form conga lines in a packed theater, bouncing around until the floor feels like a trampoline? What kind of band would require the audience to participate in a debate of whether apes or people are better? What band is guilty of hauling a glockenspiel out on stage, only to have the percussionist play just one note? That band would be They Might Be Giants.
- Packed in among the friendliest crowd, I attended the They Might Be Giants show last Thursday and had the most fun I've ever had at a live performance. First of all, I'd never been to the Fillmore before, so that was a treat. It's this old theater with a beautiful ballroom floor and side balcony loaded up with a collection of concert posters from historic shows from years past. Huge crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling, lighted with deep purple lights. Upstairs is a lounge with a live musician who plays when there isn't anyone on the main stage. And if you're hungry, there's a good meal menu to choose from with complete dinners for about $7. All this is courtesy for those of you who haven't been there before and, like me, want to know what to expect.
- About a week ago I found out that Michael Shelly and band would be opening the show. Seeing as I'd already had the chance to witness his opening up for Shonen Knife just a month ago and been disappointed with the performance, I wasn't thrilled about having to see him again. Fortunately, his performance was quite good. Perhaps owing to the large excited crowd, or perhaps it was the addition of the sessions guitarist("We call him Jay.") Nevertheless, Shelly's belting out sort of sappy lyrics and obviously progressive Taco Neck Syndrome didn't inhibit the crowd from bouncing about and calling out overwhelming devotionals--"'Have my baby, Jay!' You don't get that too often from a man...." The other two musicians, Mike and Dave, playing bass and drums, also play for the band Baby Lemonhead. Their band as well as Mike Shelly have new albums out on the Big Deal label so if you're hankering for something (Matthew) Sweet, go check them out.
- After promptly starting at 8:00p.m. and playing for half an hour, Michael Shelly left the stage in order to make way for They Might Be Giants. Making good on their promise to take only half an hour to set up, the band took the stage at nine, and the crowd went nuts. Knowing this band thrives despite its relative obscurity, I was pleased to see nearly 2,000 people packed into the Fillmore. So were the guys in the band; as the lights came on and they started up with the theme song for their newest album, Severe Tire Damage. John Linnell stood center stage with his accordion and assessed the crowd briefly before breaking into a title from their third album, Flood, "Whistling in the Dark." But where is John Flansburgh? Oh, there he is, up in the balcony, playing bass drum with a flourish. Finishing up the nearly a cappella version of this song, Flansburgh zipped down onto the stage with guitar in left hand and they tore into their newest single, "Dr. Worm."
- This show came packed with songs and banter. 32 songs spanning their entire career of 15 years, evenly distributed from all their eight major albums brought something for everyone. On the smoky atmosphere of the club and in response to California's no smoking law, Flansburgh commented, "What's up with all the passive smoke? I guess it's another kind of smoke. I just hope it doesn't turn into a performance enhancing drug."
- After playing their version of "The Lion Sleeps," Flansburgh worked the crowd into a frenzy by introducing the concept of conga lines. "Hey all you people, it's time to conga now!" Pointing around at groups in the packed room, "Hey, all you non-dancers!..." or "Hey, all you drunk people! It's time to conga now!" Then they broke into "No One Knows My Plan," and soon most of the floor started snaking about.
- Or when Linnell explained how to "sing along" with their song, "Battle for the Planet of the Apes." "While we don't like to encourage this, the band will now divide in half, with the guitarist, drummer, and bassist as the 'people' and Flansburgh and me as the 'apes.' Whenever the 'people' play, chant 'People! People! People!...' while shaking your right fist and when John and I play, chant 'Apes! Apes! Apes!...' while shaking your left fist." The two sides proceeded to alternately jam and the crowd enthusiastically chanted their parts.
- Commenting on the fact that the Fillmore stage is so nice, Flansburgh continued by telling us "It's not sticky like most stages are. Usually I go around after a show trailing something sticky on my feet. But the stage here isn't sticky, and we can act like dignified human beings instead of the itinerant loser musicians that we are."
- Playing through their set which contained all time greats such as "Birdhouse in Your Soul," "Racist Friend," "S-E-X-X-Y," "Absolutely Bill's Mood," and "She's an Angel," wasn't enough for anyone. The group came back for two encores, starting the first one out with the appearance of two ventriloquist dummy heads on six feet long sticks who sang along with the music. Probing the audience, each other, and more than one chandelier, the freaky heads with wild brown hairdos complete with sideburns intrigued and amused all of the crowd, forcing them to crane their necks for a better view. Playing "Istanbul(not Constantinople)" and "Lie Still Little Bottle," they left the stage only to return for a second encore, requiring the glockenspiel. With much aplomb, drummer Dave Hickey got himself and the crowd all worked up for his performance on said glockenspiel as the band broke into "Shoehorn With Teeth." With all the drama required for this special instrument, he three times struck the same note during the song, and looked bored in between notes, like some Monty Python skit.
- Warning that they had to split, they fired up their first big single, "Don't Let's Start." To much applause, they made their way off stage and we started our arduous trek back out of the club.