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Fan Recaps and Comments:


This was the my first show, Frank Black opened and a lot of the set list was stuff from John Henry

Review by Dennis Jacobs, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Nov. 17, 1994):

Disturbingly, They Might Be Giants showed signs of becoming a real rock band Sunday night at the American Theatre. This is distressing news for fans who have come to love the loopy Brooklyn duo for their clever zaniness.

John Flansburgh and John Linnell used to be accompanied on stage only by an assortment of wacky props. For this concert, though, a two-man brass section was added to complement bass guitarist Tony Maimone and drummer Brian Doherty.
Flansburgh, on the guitar, and Linnell, on keyboards, began the show together with "I Hope I Grow Old Before I Die," as the enthusiastic audience clapped along. For "Meet James Ensor," the two were joined by Doherty.
"This is an educational song," Flansburgh dead-panned, before singing lyrics like "Meet James Ensor/Belgium's famous painter/Dig him up and shake his hand/Appreciate the man."
As the curtain rose to reveal the full staging for the band, which included ersatz street lamps and park benches, the group rendered a disappointingly brief version of "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)."
The full rock sound of the act was displayed on "Subliminal," despite Linnell's trademark accordion playing.
With the mostly teen-age spectators hopped around deliriously, Linnel delivered the lead vocals on "Don't Let's Start," the confused jumble of a song that, thanks to heavy play on MTV, propelled the group to cult stardom in 1987.
Flansburgh and Linnell had been around for a few years prior to that, gaining a small measure of notoriety in the New York area for their Dial-A-Song service, which features new and unreleased material.
A call late Sunday night netted Flansburgh singing "So Long Mockingbird" a cappella, in his best Negro spiritual voice.
They Might Be Giants poked fun at numerous musical genres in this concert, including '60s dance music, country and western and even polka. The refrain of "Nyquil Driver" was reminiscent of the Beatles' "Paperback Writer." Everybody was doing the Conga a little later to the Latin beat of "No One Knows My Plan." With "Your Racist Friend," the group also showed it could be socially relevant and serious.

The band was at its best, though, performing the more lighthearted material like "Extra Savoir Faire," which sounded like a very bad '50s pop tune. The fans responded exuberantly to the brilliant ineptness of the song and the band that performed it.