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Setlist: (incomplete and possibly out of order)
They Might Be Giants
Iron Horse in Northampton, MA
December 5, 1989
Fan Recaps and Comments:
"Climbing the Beanstalk with They Might Be Giants" by Florenco Terra and Michael Wester
The Daily Collegian, Dec. 7, 1989:
The Giants demonstrated their unique songwriting and performing skills during their set, drawing material from their two full-length LPs and three EPs, as well as material from their upcoming major label debut, due out Jan. 15.
They Might Be Giants are masters of the short but strange tune. The band's lineup consists of John Flansburgh on lead guitar, bass drum, fuzz box and metronone, and John Linnell on accordion and saxophone. On stage, the two Johns cut impressive figures.
Flansburgh took the stage armed with his guitar and Clark Kent glasses, wearing black pants and a t-shirt from the television show, 'Nickelodeon.' His stage presence was reminiscent of a pot-bellied Elvis Costello suffering from fits.
John Linnell, whose lanky, turtlenecked body often seemed to be strapped on to his accordion rather than vice-versa, sang, played and joked with an uneasy intensity that appeared to be more part of the act than a case of stagefright.
The band's performance was accompanied by prerecorded tapes, consisting of rhythm tracks, backup vocals and assorted oddities. Taken together, these elements create the entity that is They Might Be Giants.
A glimpse at the song titles they ripped through gives you an idea of what this band is all about. "I Lost My Lucky Ball and Chain," "Purple Toupee," "I'll Sink Manhattan," "Birdhouse in Your Soul" and "Shoehorn with Teeth" all reveal an obsession with the bizarre. Of course, it's not all just hot air - some of their songs deal with important topics, as in the tune "You and Your Racist Friend"
The two Johns, who are now based in New York, had a few words to say about the "jaded" Northampton crowd. "It's a lot different from Brooklyn. Everyone's so bitter and cynical here."They Might Be Giants. They do exactly what they want, when they want - and entertain us all in the process.