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Fan Recaps and Comments:


Being my first They Might Be Giants show, I didn't quite know what to expect this evening, but I was blown away! The show took place on a covered stage in a field that stretched pretty wide, but not that deep, so as long as you came early, you could sit in the back and still have a good seat. Of course, once They were about to come out, all the real fans left their chairs and came to stand right next to the stage (on other people's picnic towels). They were even giving away (for free) giant yellow TMBG #1 foam fingers. Here's my breakup of the evening:
Announcements: It's announced that although this show was billed as "All Ages", They will be playing adult music not the kid songs. *sigh of relief*
Tally Hall: Played for about 40 minutes. Me and my friend thought that their music was pretty good, but they were terrible at interacting with the crowd. But all in all, an enjoyable first act.
The Bad Examples: Okay, this is the bad part of the evening. The Bad Examples were fine for about a half hour, but at about 35 minutes, all their songs started to sound alike, and their show got really boring. Nobody was really paying attention and everyone (especially the children) were impatient. The Bad Examples ended up playing for 90 minutes! Finally, they finished and the fans ran up to the stage.
Snail Shell: Great, high energy start to the show with some nice guitar work by Dan
New York City: Flans: "We now move from the animal portion of our program to the city portion of our program." During the "statue of liberty..." part, Flans flubbed up some words, and made fun of himself by often during the evening counting on his fingers to remember to include all of the lyrics in certain songs.
Istanbul: Flans: "It's always been a dream of They Might Be Giants to play at a zoo. Because when you're in a rock band, you have a lot of time to dream." Ended with a really long group solo/jam session
"Dang" Good Times: Flans explains: "Ladies and gentlemen, at a children's show subtle adjustments need to be made...this song is called Dang Good Times." Pretty much the same as Damn Good Times, except that Linnell and Dan Miller would say "Dang Good Times" during the chorus. Also, it sound suspiciously at the beginning like instead of saying "She's got ants in her pants", Flans says "She's got her hands in my pants".
Why Does the Sun Shine?: Flans: "The sun is so hot, it's like a trillion degrees. That's how hot the sun is."
Bee of the Bird of the Moth: Linnell: "This is a new song off our upcoming album: Major Label Debut. I keep messing up the title, but because it's a new song, it really doesn't matter."
In The Middle: Flans: "We saw this song in a public service announcement and decided to adapt it...I don't mean to sound all intellectual. We heard this song, and now we play it." ... "When my wife sang this song on the album, it was in the key of D. We sing it in the key of A. We remember because those are the grades we got in highschool." They had to do this song over because when Dan Miller started, he messed up his solo.
Boss of Me: Humorously, they only did the "Malcolm in the Middle" version, which lasts only about 30 seconds.
Older: Dan Miller, John Flansburgh, and Danny Weinkauf moved their guitar necks like clock hands in the song. When Linnell sings "Is still marching on", he holds the is for an extremely long period of time while raising the pitch. Flansburgh joins in while lowering his pitch, making the sound of a siren.
Don't Let's Start: During the song, Flans makes weird guitar noises by holding his guitar by the neck and tossing it up and down through his hand.
We Live In A Dump: Flans: "Can you talk for a little John? Because I rocked too hard on that last song, and I don't want to do the next song Grammy style...*pant* *pant*." Linnell: (in response) "So how's everybody doing tonight? How about those people over there that can't even see us? (points far off left where lots of people are sitting)" Flans: "How about those people over there (points far off to the right, near the entrance) that can't see us. You got here early. Thought you had good seats. What happened?"
The Guitar: Flans hands his pick to somebody in the front of the audience, then holds out his guitar. He fingers the chords while the fan strums them. Linnell does a lengthy solo on "The Future of Sound", an electric machine, which includes several human sounds, but mostly just meeps. Later in the solo, he begins singing the meeps with it. A little later, Flans: "When I say meep, you say meep. Meep! (meep) Meep! (meep)"
Everybody Conga: A conga line actually forms (!) winding its way through the front section. Flans: "Get out of the way!"
Drink!: Flans: "There comes a time in every They Might Be Giants kids show where we need to sing a drinking song." When instructing the audience, Flans: "When I say the words 'drink', you say the word 'drink drink' in quick succession" [sics] The first time we try, Flans: "Wrong. That's wrong". The second time we try, Flans: "That was too fast".
The Famous Polka: Flans: "This is the only polka in our show."
Alphabet of Nations: Flans: "Mr. Dan Miller now goes to keyboards...You know Dan, you need some walk-on music." Dan plays a little tune. Flans: "I don't think that you can play your own walk on music, Dan."
Asbury Park: Flans: "It's great to be performing at a venue when the smell of manure isn't a bad thing." When explaining the Venue Songs project: Flans: "It may sound hard, but really...Piece of cake."
Twistin: Ends with a really long group jam/solo. Flans pulls all the strings out of his guitar and throws them around, except for one, which he solos on.
Particle Man: Audience claps together with Linnell during Triangle Man verse. Halfway through he screams at us: Linnell: "Don't speed up!!"
Experimental Film: Flans: "We can't play the songs you want us to play because our lights show is already programmed into the computer."
Birdhouse: During the intro, Linnell: "We'd like to thank first, the flammingos. Second...I don't know who." During the guitar solo, Dan Miller jumped onto his amp and Flans jumped onto his.
We're The Replacements: At the end, Marty Beller threw his sticks into the audience.
So, all in all, a great evening. They couldn't have been any better. The songs were great and the energy was high. A++!


Yea, that sums it up pretty good, except they did the conga line during "No One knows my plan" And Flansy sings in the key of D. It was such an incredibly high energy show, starting with Snail Shell. The fans were exstatic at Don't Let's Start. And, I've been to a lot of hard rock concerts, but I don't think I've ever seen a crowd go as crazy as they did for Birdhouse in your Soul. It was an awsome show. I couldn't believe they played spider.


I came to my first show with my best friend -- the one who introduced me to TMBG. While we were waiting for The Bad Examples to end, a security guard came up to us and asks "why aren't you guys getting plastered?" "Because we're underage" "Oh! That's no big deal, I'll give you an arm band to get drinks." Again, we declined and he walked away. Can you say "entrapment?"
I met a fellow fan, Rob, from Chicago. His accordion grille caught my eye and I engaged a conversation with him about it. Before too long, we were chatting up a storm and Linnell slipped right by us. Oh darn! At least I got to shake Joe Hawley's (Tally Hall's lead singer) sweaty hand.
Everybody Conga: "everybody conga...or get out of the way of the line!" I conga'd. Sorry to everyone whose stuff I trampled. The song segued nicely into No One Knows My Plan.
Some Quotes
JL: "I think we can say "Screw it up" in a zoo"
JF: "Shoutout to those over there who are "frozen in space." I'm gonna be frozen in space...You know what I'm talking about...time travel, man. Coney Island: 1836, yeah man."


What a fantastic show. This was my 4th TMBG show and I loved it. I was in front of Miller's amp 3rd "row." The interior of the mass of people at the front of the stage was like being in an indoor show. Let me tell you, it was HOT. I mean it was crazy warm. I enjoyed when they slowed down to take questions from the crowd and even though my friend got Flans to answer his question, "Will you play Ana Ng?" the response was not what we would have liked to hear, "No we are not going to play the song you want. It's because the light show is pre-programed." That upset me because I've only heard Ana Ng once live.
It looked like Flans busted a string while playing Twistin'. This may have been where he cut his hand, I cannot be certain. He was rocking out hard, definitely had to catch his breath a few times.
Finally, as always I felt bad for the people who got up close and were sitting, but were soon overtaken by the fans who practically charged the stage immediately after the Bad Examples* finished their Death March of a set. (*Note: The Bad Examples = a bad example of an opening act. 90mins is MUCH TOO LONG!)


Wow, an amazing show. My first TMBG show, and I was far from disappointed. I missed the opening acts, but from what I've heard, that wasn't a bad thing. Flans forgot to thank The Bad Examples when he was mentioning everyone, but mentioned them when they came back for the encore. He said something about how it didn't mean anything, and how he paused when he was trying to think of who they were, but couldn't remember. Funny stuff. I'll edit this later and add more impressions.


This was my 9th or 10th show (getting hard to remember) but it was seriously near the top. Song selection was primo and as far as high energy... what more can you ask for from a band in that kind of humidity??? The venue was incredible too because it was so easy to get close! And, you have to love shows when they throw an obscure one at ya like "Spider!" Only things I've heard them do better are really cool intros or jams to songs like Istanboul - but seriously, I give it a 10/A+ whatever.


Wow... almost a week after the show and I'm still reeling. It was my very first show... and my good friend and I drove up from Central IL to see it! We didn't arrive until 7:10, but quickly realized that we were plenty early. Since neither of us had previously attended a show before, we were bouncing around like giddy seven-year-olds from the beginning. Seemed like everyone was getting drunk except us young'ns! We stopped by the merch tent, I grabbed a "Visit Amish Country" t-shirt, my friend picked up Venue Songs, we both grabbed a finger, and we proceeded to find a good place to be.
Now, we were both initially very confused by the picnic blanket city that seemed to have formed in front of the stage... I remember remarking to him that I never imagined TMBG as a lawn chair band, and he emphatically agreed. However, the true intent became clear as soon as The Bad Examples (finally) began packing up. We had been standing to the right of the stage, right at the front of standing room, and suddenly, I noticed a bunch of people rushing the stage. Like 2+2=4, everything clicked and I dragged my friend bodily up to the stage. NOW it was getting exciting! We were in about the 3rd or 4th... well, not row, but layer of people slathered against the stage. One guy started talking to me after noticing how bodily excited I looked (I believe his words were "Pardon me for being forward, but your face says it all"). After I told him I had never seen a show before, he was shocked and edged into the crowd a little so we (I?) could get closer (I realized later that he had been hitting on me). I ended up in the 2nd row... and when they wheeled out John L.'s table, I realized I was going to be literally 5 feet away from him!
As far as the show itself goes, I sang and screamed my little head off. It was absolutely fantastic. TMBG just makes you want to skank and jump and bounce, and I happily and dutifully performed all of the above. The best part, though, was how John looks at individual people while he's playing and singing. Now, I've always had a little bit of a crush on him, and I could've died happy after this concert. He looked and smiled at me so much! I wish I didn't sound like such a fangirl... but alas, I cannot avoid it. As for high points... both my friend and I had been listening to TMBG all the way up, and we both went through songs we wanted to hear but likely wouldn't. The Famous Polka, Don't Let's Start and We're The Replacements topped that list... so imagine us after hearing all three. Plus, their "dang" rendition of Damn Good Times was a good laugh... especially considering that if you were up in front, you could clearly see that at least John was still singing "damn" - if not Flans as well. Flans tying his shoe in the middle of Doctor Worm was also funny. However, back to the songs, every song was just excellent and full of energy. I'm not sure I've ever been so excited as when they started playing Birdhouse In Your Soul... and that was before the LAST song!
After the last song, the guy asked me for my phone number... my mind was reeling so much, I couldn't put half a sentence together to explain that I was seeing someone - so that was kind of sad, he was a cool guy, and I would've liked to at least talk to him. Other than that, though, I was so impressed - I had a fantastic time, and it was worth every moment of time and frustration getting there! I can't wait until they stop by Chicago or St. Louis again!


This was my second TMBG show, and it was pretty much worth the 3+ hour drive from West Michigan. I got to the zoo before the gates opened and was lucky enough to get a spot on the lawn that faced the stage. I'm lucky I didn't get a spot closer to the stage because I would have been ticked off by people trampling my stuff! Most of the audience were either twentysomethings or adults with their kids, which made me feel a bit out of place (I was born in 1974 and attended the concert by myself). Anyhoo, Tally Hall was a good opening act and sang some cute songs. The Bad Examples, however, lived up to their name. Their songs were repetitive, boring, and totally inappropriate considering the large number of munchkins in the audience. A man and his two children who sat next to me left during their set. I got up and left to walk around the zoo.
As for TMBG, they were great and had a good song selection. I was especially happy that they played Don't Let's Start, Particle Man, Doctor Worm, and James K. Polk. Spider was especially funny: I had staked out an area on the lawn underneath a big tree. As the skies got darker you could see a large spider silhouetted between a couple of branches of that tree. As soon as They started to play Spider, everyone in my area pointed at the real spider. It was almost a bit creepy!


This was my very first TMBG show ever, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. As soon as they opened the gate I sprinted in to get a good seat, and did indeed get a good seat... until everybody ran up to the front of the stage. I, being very short, couldn't even see over the heads of the people in front of me. A few generous people let me get in front of them, though, and I was able to see Linnell through a gap in the mass of incredibly tall people. And he smiled at me! It was a total fangirl moment. Two girls I had met said that they were going to do the Ana Ng dance, and invited me to join them, but to my disappointment, the didn't even play Ana Ng! My hair also got very matted from all the jumping I was doing, but I think it was very worth it and I can't wait for the next show.

Mr. DNA:

It's now been months, and I'm really itchin' for another show like this. I have to admit that I was also miffed by the venue and the seating arrangements; The viewing area was much wider than it was deep. At one point Flans (or was it Linnell?) dedicated a song to those on the South side of the field- filled with people who couldn't possibly see the performance.
There were LOTS of children at this show! The long opening acts seemed to upset many of the parents, and many of them left without seeing TMBG as their children grew tired. Other children were to be found sound asleep at the periphery of the crowd. The Johns and Dans took the stage around 9 PM- it seems that this show might have been an attempt to please too many people, leaving some behind in the compromise. PS- At least one show is missing from the above list- James K. Polk!!! The performance was a slightly faster version of the album release, and it excited the hell out of me. I love that song.
For those of you who also may harbor notions of getting a signature at one of these events, don't bother. Linnell and Flans were so fast making their way to the stage that I almost missed them as they zoomed past. Flans left in distress, hurrying back to sanctuary where he could get his hand bandaged after cutting it breaking a string. Linnell declined comments or signatures as he calmly left the stage area. He was, however, polite- smiling as he wordlessly waved me aside, as if by Jedi mind-trick.
Despite my ire at going home with an unsigned portion of my accordion, I left my second TMBG show ecstatic with the experience. I stood backstage, then moved to the center-right of the crowd to stand with some energetic thirty-somethings. I enjoyed the conga line, and the opportunity it presented to me to move to the front; I'm not proud of my opportunistic vein, but I regret nothing. After standing right in front of Linnell's keyboard for a few songs, I made my way backstage to attempt to get a signature on the grill of my accordion (removed exclusively for this purpose). It was there that I listened to the encore performance, part of me wishes I'd stayed in the crowd for the full effect of the rock goodness.
Not to be a downer, but there was one other disappointment. They only played the TV version of "Boss of Me." The song came to an abrupt ending, and there was an uncomfortable stillness afterward. However, the performances of every other song were fantastic, definitely topping the performance at the Vic a couple of years previous that broke me in; I spent that whole show acting like a little girl ogling her favorite pop idle. I was way too excited to do even that much this time.

The Cap'n:

Flansburgh is actually usually pretty available for signatures. I caught him at a show in St. Petersburg, FL earlier this year and after waiting for about 40 minutes by the gate he came out, signed everyone's stuff, took picutres, and chatted for a good while. Linnell, of course, is impossible to get a signature from. Flans just had to go to get his hand fixed up at this show.


I don't have much to add except I don't believe Marty threw his drumsticks into the crowd at the end. A fan gave him a pair of drumsticks printed with Animal from The Muppet Show and a couple of fans, seeing Marty take the drumsticks, assumed they were his and asked him if they could have them. Much confusion ensued.
The band were pretty exhausted after the show, which may be why Mr. Flansburgh wasn't as available for autographs as he's been at other shows. Persevere, come to more shows and you may get lucky!


  • The show was sold out
  • Their flight was delayed 4 hours, due to thunderstorms.
  • Sometime during the show, Flansburgh cut his hand but finished the show.