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Setlist: (incomplete and possibly out of order)

They Might Be Giants
— with The Fraidy Cats opening —
Club Congress in Tucson, AZ
November 29, 1988 at 9:00 PM

Fan Recaps and Comments:

Tickets were $9 in advance and $10 at the door.

Preview of the show from the Arizona Daily Star, Nov. 27, 1988:

They Might Be Giants, one of the hottest tickets in the downtown Manhattan club scene, will play a 9 p.m. concert at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., with local group The Fraidy Cats opening the show.

They Might Be Giants is an eccentric pop duo made up of guitarist John Flansburgh and accordionist/saxman John Linnell. The two grew up together in a Boston suburb and now live in Brooklyn, N.Y. Tickets cost $9 in advance at Wrex, Big Noise and Al Bum's record stores, Bookman's and the Hotel Congress. They'll cost $1 more at the door. Call 622-8849 for more information.

"Giants' witty ditties delight crowd" by Gene Armstrong
Arizona Daily Star, Dec. 1, 1988:

A fellow had this to say about They Might Be Giants: "I guess because they're corny and zany, people just love them."

Well, yeah. The better part of a Tuesday night Club Congress crowd of about 150 was thrilled with the eccentric pop-rock duo from Brooklyn, N.Y. Made up of John Flansburgh and John Linnell, They Might Be Giants played an hour of verbose, witty songs in a variety of styles. Linnell was the skinny, cute accordion player, and Flansburgh the solid, bespectacled guitarist.

The evening's musical menu included country, samba, a cappella, game-show melodies, Cole Porter-style balladry, hipster jazz and more exotic numbers, such as the lush "Ana Ng" — from the Giants' second and latest LP, "Lincoln" — which sounded like a lot of slamming doors with an infectious vocal by Linnell. The more clever and sardonic the tunes, the better. Cases in point: "Santa's Beard" and the brilliant "Hope I Get Old Before I Die." Most of the Giants' songs can be heard on their Dial-a-Song service (718-387-6962), which plays a different ditty every day.
Many lyrics are built on delicious non-sequiturs, oxymorons or free-association exercises. From the bouncy "Cowtown": "I'm going down to Cowtown / Cow's a friend to me / Lives beneath the ocean and that's where I will be." Many in the audience were diehard fans, clapping, stomping and bouncing non-stop to the pre-recorded music that augmented the live instrumentation. They sang along, too, even when the duo used no cue cards. Among the crowd favorites was the near-perfect parody "(She Was A) Hotel Detective," on which Flansburgh's grinding guitar sounded like heavy metal from a boom box low on batteries. Sometimes it was difficult to tell where the satire ended.

During "Alienation's for the Rich" the Giants sang sneeringly of enjoying a six-pack of Miller beer, among , other things. Fans shouted the brewski lyric enthusiastically, pumping their fists and slapping high-fives. Curiouser and curiouser. A flippant attitude and ambiguous intentions have helped They Might Be Giants earn a reputation as performance artists. Also contributing have been the Giants' ants-in-the-pants stage antics, the pre-recorded tapes and the three huge likenesses of Maurice Chevalier's head that hung behind the band. But They Might Be Giants is nothing more than a likable pair of pop performers with a flair for delighting with little more than sharp wit and catchy melodies.