From This Might Be A Wiki

They Might Be Giants
— with Galaxie 500 opening —
Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, CA
March 31, 1990 at 8:00 PM

Fan Recaps and Comments:

Tickets were $19.50.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS at the Wiltern Theater by Heidi Sigmund
LA Weekly, Apr. 12, 1990:

John Flansburgh and John Linnell are anti-cool. They don't sport ponytails and they dress like geeks. Yes, Linnell plays an expert accordion. And when Flansburgh straps on a bass drum, he marches with such intrepid proficiency you know he must've been in the high school band.

They don't write love sings, and they aren't trying to save the world. For all of this, we can be thankful. These are simply two guys from Brooklyn, who put out refreshingly good albums. They put out an even better show.

Saturday's almost-sold-out concert at the Wiltern proved the Giants are big enough to overcome serious performance obstacles — like playing the Wiltern. Certainly it's a beautiful forum for an act like the Bulgarian Women's Choir, but a Brooklyn-based club band? I suppose that given the success of their album Flood they should be playing theaters; the Wiltern, however, with all its formality, isn't the kind of place to get intimate.

Still, both Johns prevailed. From the opening "Lie Still, Little Bottle," featuring a metronome, Linnell on baritone sax and Flansburgh singing in his "big man's" voice, they rocked. For most of the songs, Flansburgh wailed on a Telecaster or a Stratocaster and Linnell played his accordion in sync with taped tracks. "Ana Ng" was even funnier live, and "Your Racist Friend" was a puff of fresh smoke.

Their energy never let up, though for a while the audience appeared to be watching TV. Both Flansburgh, 29, and Linnell, 30, were among the oldest people present. The audience was split between high schoolers who looked like the goody-two-shoes kids from a John Waters movie, and industry trypes in their late '20s. The turnaround came when Flansburgh let some kid play his guitar during a polka. "Sit down. Relax. This's L.A. So be cool. You're embarrassing everybody," said Flansburgh. Too late.

A little later, they even got people off their butts, dancing to "Birdhouse in Your Soul," a tune about a night light. They went from a badly choreographed version of "Shoehorn With Teeth" to a dreamlike "Road Movie To Berlin." They then attempted to end the show with their first indie hit, "Don't Let's Start," which thrust them into MTV fame for its low-budget, big-hatted video.

The Giants left them with their "power ballad," a generic heavy metal luv song, demanding the audience to scream as if in hell. Not some "candy-assed Melrose hell," Flansburgh warned. Not to worry. By the time the Wiltern's plush curtain sealed the show, the audience actually booed in unison.