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Fan Recaps and Comments:

Review by Chris:
Here's my notes from listening back to my tape from the Boston show at the Avalon 3-27-98.

Julie Kramer from FNX (Julie at the station says They'll be here any minuite now) intoduces them.

-NYC Flans sings "The Empire state where King Kong lived" Linnell "We'll keep playing here untill no one shows up."

-James K Polk They shot off a cannon of confetti (i got a handfull) at the beginning of the song on the word "Expansionist".

Flans "We've got a brand new record coming out in just a couple months. It's called "Severe Tire Damage", it's a live record. It was recorded live in front of an audience that was hidden behind a glass wall so their applause couldn't be captured. So it's perfect... Here's one of the new tracks."

-They Got Lost They start the song right after Flans intros it but he doesn't have a guitar yet. So the beginning of the song is played sans guitar while Flans hurries to get his square guitar from the guitar roadie guy.

Flans "My mother taught me many years ago ago that when you take the mic off the mic stand that's where integrity ends and entertainment begins. And I'd like to dedicate this song to her."

-She's Actual Size Flans introduces Dan Hickey in the middle of the song and Dan does a drum solo.

-Why Does The Sun Shine No pause between this and Actual Size. Flans started cracking up when Linnell was saying "hydrogen... nitrogen..." in a very low deadpan voice.

Linnell "The sun ladies and gentleman, why does it shine? Why? We sill have not answered that question."

-The Battle for/of the Planet of the Apes I don't know if this has been described before but basically Dan and Hal represent the "People" and the Johns represent the "Apes". The 2 groups take turns jamming, and the crowd has been instructed to chant "people... people... people" or "apes... apes... apes..." during the correct pair of jammers.

Flans "Once again the people win. Here's another brand new song, it's called "Don't Let's Start."

-Don't Let's Start Flans "We'd like to dedicate this next song to our crew. Our sexxy sexxy crew. It's about sexxiness."

-SEXXY Flans introduces Hal Cragin and he does a bass solo during the song. He rocks.

Flans "Here's another song off the "Severe Tire Damage" record." Linnell "It's about a worm, it's called "Dr Worm.""

-Dr Worm They play the new long version with Linnell playing the accordion for the first time this night.

-Birdhouse In Your Soul Flans sings the last word of the song.

Flans "Here's a song that features Mr Hal Cragin on the bass. It's called "The (bass) Guitar"

-The (bass) Guitar Flans leans out in the audience and hands some guy the pick and has him strum the guitar while Flans continues to change chords. He doesn't too well and hands the pick to the girl next to him. She gives up and Flans returns to the stage leaving her the pick. They do an extended jam session in the middle of this one.

-No One Knows My Plan Complete with conga line. Flans "This song is only about dancing. So lets go."

Flans "Starting with the new one, segue into the old one, they'll never know we played a new song."

-Finished With Lies I don't know what the name of this song is or if it has an accepted fan name but nobody in the crowd seemed to know it. It's a slow accordion song sung by Linnell.

-Particle Man Linnell didn't seem too bored playing this song this time around. The last verse he played sort of evil sounding.

Flans announces they are skipping a song because of the curfew (it's a dance club at night so we have to clear out before 10 so the disco can start) and instead of that song he's going to tell us a story. I saw the setlist later and saw that they skipped "Snail Shell". Flans tells a long story about James Bond films wich leads into...

-Spy The jam section included a twisted version of "Dueling Banjos" and "I Am Not Your Broom" complete with an audience member with a real broom. Linnell picks up the sax at the end of the jam wich segues into...

-Lie Still Little Bottle The current stick version.

-Ana Ng Cool slow beginning that explodes into the normal fast version at the first chorous.

Flans "This next song we'd like to perform in total darkness, just because we're into the mystery of total darkness."

-Pet name Performed in total darkness.

-Exquisite Dead Guy The normal disembodied head version. Flan's head's had spiked hair this time around.


-Twisting This is a great live song.

-Until My Head Falls Off Another great song live.

*First encore*

-Shoehorn with teeth

-Istanbul Bass solo intro

*Second encore*

-How Can I Sing Like A Girl They hold the last note about 30 seconds with everyone with one hand held up in the air. Then the lights go out and that's it.

It was a nice show and Linnell was smiling alot and the Johns were cracking eachother up. A nice 25 song set, would have been 26 if not for Flans's James Bond story.

If anyone wants to trade I still need the Avalon show from last year and their last show from the Paradise.

Review by Neal:
So, I just returned from the Boston show. I was pretty disappointed that Lincoln didn't play. They were scheduled to, but one of the member's daughters had a birthday, I think. Too bad. But Double Dong was entertaining. Kind of.

The show was a pretty normal Factory Showroom show, not as good as the Brandeis show last November, but not bad at all. Dr. Worm sounded great, so did They Got Lost. The Spy improv was one of the best I've seen, and the broom section was good, more like a conversation than a chant. Unfortunately, Avalon has a show curfew, so the encores were shorter than usual. I dunno, the feeling I got from this show was that it was only that, just another show. Nothing new, really. Hal Cragin still blows me away, though. I love Graham, and Tony, but I think Hal is the best improv bassist TMBG has had. His solos are incredible.

Flans plugged Severe Tire Damage (abbreviated STD! Hah!), saying it'll be out in two months. Oh yeah, they kinda went off on a musical tangent during The Guitar. It was great. Like the Spy improvs, just more together. Hmm... nothing else I guess, except that it was a REALLY nice day in Boston today. Like upper 70's. Just beautiful. A perfect day for They, I guess.

Review by Bosephus:
I just got back from the Boston show at Avalon. It was definately a great show. I was a little disapointed that Lincoln couldn't make it(I am a pretty big fan). I thought Double Dong was God Awful. All there songs were basically the same. Some guy sang the drum beat and either the other guy or the girl sang lyrics about sex. Entertaining for about 1 minute, and then very annoying. The crowd was dead for this act, and when they announced that the next song was their last, the crowd roared with approval.

After a 25 minute delay between acts, the real concert began. One of the first things They talked about was the new album. I think it must contain some studio tracks like others have mentioned. They said some live tracks were recorded with the crowd behind a glass wall. I'm pretty sure they were talking about studio tracks. They said it would be out in a couple of months. They only named 2 tracks, Dr. Worm and They Got Lost.

Overall, both Johns seemed really into this concert. The concert was my first TMBG concert that really had all TMBG fans in the crowd. I saw them at a college and at the Hatch Shell before so those had mixed crowds. The crowd was great, except the three short kids next to me that thought they were cool smoking a joint and break dancing. They played a great mix of songs. When they did a Planet of the Apes song the crowd went nuts.

Overall, this was my favorite TMBG concert I've attended as of yet. A few interesting happenings.....

When they were about to do Little Bottle with the Stick, they broke out in a little jazz jamm session which was pretty cool. Also, there were several other musical outbursts in the middle of songs. A plus I thought.

Also, Flansy did not say f*** at this concert. He has tried to work it in at the other concerts I went to before. But he said his mother and other relatives were in the audience so no swearing today.

Flansy also let a fan play the guitar. I know he has done this before, but how often?

We got two encores! I think thats pretty rare, I'm not sure. The first was Shoehorn and Instanbul. The second was How Do I Sing Like A Girl. Pretty cool.

18+? They did not check IDs at all. Good thing too, I'm only 17.

Overall a great show. Although I had to suffer through 25 minutes of Double Dong, 95 minuted of TMBG made my week.