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Fan Recaps and Comments:

Review by Joyce Marcel, Union-News (Springfield, MA), Oct. 28, 1994:

I can't remember a concert that was more fun than the Giants show at Smith College Tuesday night. Maybe it was the witty opening countdown, "There are only THREE things that stand between you and this event, and TWO of them are huge security guards ..."
Or maybe it was during "No One Knows My Plan," from the new CD, "John Henry," when guitarist-singer John Flansburgh asked the audience, all 1,700 of us, to form a conga line. And we did.
Or maybe it was during "The Famous Polka," which had couples doing it in the aisles. Or maybe it was the general good spirits of the band, the ecstatic young audience who knew the words to every song and bounced and danced the whole 95-minute set, or the vital, spirited and alive music that the Giants make. This is not your father's rock 'n' roll.
The two Johns, Flansburgh and keyboardist Linnell, known in the past for their quirky two-men shows, have been joined now by flashy drummer Brian Doherty, hot bassist Tony Maimone, and two excellent horns, trumpeter Jim O'Connor and trombone and tuba player Randy Andos.
The group opened with "Dirt Bike" from the new CD, then played the incredibly weird "The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)." During "Don't Let's Start," Flansburgh, the ultimate classic nerd in a tucked-in plaid shirt and dark-rimmed glasses, was doing Pete Townshend leaps.
The songs came fast and furious, especially the new "Stomp Box," which was played at warp speed. Then there was the absolutely unexpected cover of Steve Miller's "The Joker." They sang "The Sun," which has the lyric "The sun is a mass of gas." It was nuts. The whole audience was jumping with joy. The drummer was having a blast. Flansburgh was playing it deadpan, but his body was making Elvis moves. "Racist Friend" was weird. "Particle Man" had the tuba.

The crowd demanded encores, and encores they got, including "Snail Shell" and "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)," and at the end, "Spy." By then, Flansburgh had burned at least three strings off his guitar, Linnell was conducting the band and bringing the energy level to a fever pitch, and the audience was shaking the hall. You've got to love these guys.