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Screenshot from the studio version's video

song name Pittsburgh
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Venue Songs, 50,000,000 They Might Be Giants Songs Can't Be Wrong
year 2004
first played July 25, 2004 (26 known performances)
run time 1:20
sung by John Linnell

For the studio version of this song, see Pittsburgh (Studio).


  • The venue song for Mr. Small's Theatre, it was originally known as "Mr. Small's Theatre" in the concert setlist.
  • While the main song references a different Pittsburgh theater actually called "Mr. Smalls" this song recalls a tough show at the different, now-defunct bar, called the Electric Banana. John Linnell said "It's a gig we played—probably '86, after the release of our first album. [The venue] stood on sort of stilts on an edge of a hill, which we became aware of after we played the set, it was hanging maybe 40 feet over the edge of a precipice. It added to the sense of exciting danger."
  • The Electric Banana is a now-defunct club where TMBG performed in 1987. Jamie Lincoln Kitman recalled that the club was nearly empty for the show. The Johns shook hands with everyone there and played "the best concert he had heard," Kitman told the New Yorker in 2001. An executive from a local Pittsburgh station was in the crowd, and the following day, "Don't Let's Start" was first broadcast on commercial radio.
  • In "Monongahela", John Hodgman references Johnny Banana, the actual owner of the Electric Banana.

Song Themes

Cities, Dreams, Falling, Forgetting And Remembering, Intelligence, Espionage, Paranoia, Titles And Honorifics, Venue Songs


Current Rating

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Pittsburgh is currently ranked #306 out of 910. (28 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.50)