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Setlist: (incomplete and possibly out of order)


They Might Be Giants
— with The Ray Mason Band opening —
Pearl Street in Northampton, MA
March 8, 1996

Fan Recaps and Comments:

"Playful hits highlight Giants' Noho show" by Anna Feder
The Daily Collegian, Mar. 11, 1996:

NORTHAMPTON — The "Giants" crept stealthily onto the stage admist an enthusiastic roar from the crowd at Pearl Street Friday night. Neither rain nor sleet nor snow could keep fans from attending the show.

The band opened with "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)," one of their more popular songs, which was easily identified by the audience and created the mood for the rest of the show — very energetic, upbeat and playful. In addition to the older favorites, the band played some new tunes. "XTC versus Adam Ant," a number rooted in the traditional Giants' sound, received considerable applause and laughter from the crowd.

The energy steadily increased with each song of the concert. The climax of the performance came toward the end when the group played "Twisting," "Birdhouse In Your Soul," "Snail Shell," and "The Guitar." Guitarist John Flansburgh entertained himself and the audience by pacing the length of the stage and leaning periodically into the crowd.

The set also included "She Was a Hotel Detective," which frontman John Linnell dedicated to his friend's six-year-old daughter who, he explained to the audience, couldn't attend the show. The band didn't neglect to play "Particle Man," from the album Flood, which was saved for the middle of the performance. Another highlight of the show was the song "Ana Ng," after which the band left the stage. The crowd stomped and cheered until they returned. The band played a six song encore that included "Spider" and "Why Does the Sun Shine?"

The atmosphere was conductive to high pitched shrieks of excitement and spontaneous "Phish style" body gyration. During the course of the performance, members of the audienced danced, crowd surfed and formed nerver-ending conga lines, all of which are characteristics of a They Might Be Giants show.

The mood created by the band had its initial roots in the opening act, The Ray Mason Band. A native of Northampton, the group seemed familiar with the audience. Their funky bluesy sound was a perfect compliment to the "Giants." Their set included strategically played drum bass and guitar solos.
Overall the band appeared to have the much fun as the audience, certainly not a big surprise. The performance was positive proof that, unlike many bands who have been around as long, They Might Be Giants just keep getting better and bigger.