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They Might Be Giants
— with Cloudbreak, Betty In Black; The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (Co-headliner) —
Bohager's in Baltimore, MD
December 31, 2001

Fan Recaps and Comments:

Review by John J. Ryan
Get up at noon again, and get on the cell phone with Shana to pick her up. She had been in the Baltimore area for a week already and was the 4th in our party. Had some lunch at the Paper Moon, and then went to Bohager's to pick up our tickets. On our way down, we hear a commercial for the show we had tickets for that night, and they played "The Guitar" during it. We met up with Rob and Laura at that point, who were staying in a hotel very nearby. We got to see what they did with the place. Turns out that Bohager's used to be a small building in Fells Point. Closer to the water was a tiki bar area called Parrot Island. Daniel Bohager actually ended up buying Parrot Island, and then the old Bohager's mysteriously burned down.

So now we had the new Bohager's which was the tiki bar with an airplane hanger over it to keep the place warm. Ben Folds just did one of his solo shows there. The area looked very nice. There were casino tables on one end, a lager tiki bar in the middle, and a VIP section right next to the water. Also, adjacent to the airplane hanger on the landside was a temporary tent built just for the night. This was actually put over the parking lot. This is where TMBG did their show, as Rob, Adam, and I noticed as we walked through the place. The Bosstones had their gear set up in the main room. Still at this point, we didn't know who was headlining, the Bosstones or TMBG. But by the looks of it is was the Bosstones.

As we got our tickets I noticed Dicky Barrett, the lead singer of the Bosstones, walking around with his cell phone. I noticed him but didn't say hi since he was busy. But as we walked back, I walked up and said hi, telling him that I opened up for the Bosstones last year with Professor Plum. He said, "Oh, that's why I thought I recognized you!" We just talked for a minute about how things were going with me and also how I was amazed that this was such an amazing bill. He called TMBG "Indie Legends." I wished him a good job that night as he took off. We then head back to the place we were staying and changed into our dresses/suits.

We get back to Bohager's at about just a little past 7. The line is still very small, about 10 people long. We meet up Rob and Laura in the front waiting in the small tent awning in the cold. We also met up with a couple of die-hard Bosstones fans that were first in line. They were a nice couple, but really didn't see them once we got in. We also received some noisemakers from Mix 106.1, one of the co-sponsors of the show. Along with WHFS, they simulcast the show.

That's the line at the beginning of the show. From left to right, Shana, Adam, Noa, Rob, Laura, and a couple who were coming for the Bosstones.

We went in about a quarter to 8. We got ourselves one of the few tables in the whole place, which was very nice. It had some party hats, which I drew "TMBG 2002" on one of them, and "Mighty Mighty Bosstones 2002" on another one. We got the drinks started early, at least Laura and I did. We also watched some people already gambling.

We were just kind of hanging out drinking, waiting for the food and/or TMBG to go on. The first band on in the small tent was Betty In Black, which was a large 8-9 piece band. They were very good, and we also saw Danny Weinkauf watching their bass player. I tried to talk to Danny about a guy I bumped into at a Bowery show that knew him from high school, but he could barely hear me, so that wasn't working. So I left that conversation. However, in the larger room, he caught up to me and wanted to hear the story again. So we talked for a little bit about that, the Bosstones, how touring sucks sometimes, and what not. He also told us (Shana and myself, who were there talking to him) that TMBG was going on about 10:30, and playing through midnight. This made me happy because it meant TMBG's Auld Lang Syne. So with that Danny took off and we wished him well.

While the 2nd band was going on, Cloudbreak, they finally brought the food out. Tough luck for Cloudbreak, no one was watching them, people were too busy waiting on line for 30-60 minutes for food. Very poorly planned here. Cloudbreak was a 4-piece rock act, but I didn't even hear them at all.

After we were done eating, we took our spots up front awaiting TMBG. This was about 10:30, but had to wait until 10:45 for them to come out. We met some girls who were at the Halloween show, and I told them how I was the guy in the Cyclops costume.

TMBG was introduced by a radio DJ, and they came out with New York City. Ana Ng was also great because I taught those same girls the Ana Ng dance. Other highlights:

Particle Man - Breakdown section in a minor key.

Lie Still, Little Bottle - With Linnell on tenor sax

Yeh Yeh - The "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!" from the front row is AWESOME!

Spin the Dial - One section I don't remember too much from, other than Funkytown and one of Flansburgh's "I hate country music" shticks. However, we were wondering if he tuned it to WHFS, would we hear feedback?

Why Does The Sun Shine? - One of the many spots where the sound went haywire. Hickey got ahead of everyone, and I started singing along to Hickey's beat. Linnell noticed me doing head -"movements along to the song and managed to get back on. He smiled at me for that save.

Istanbul - Another point where band came apart. They still managed to keep it together, but Flansburgh was obviously pissed off at this point. He went back to the sound booth and most likely shouting very unpleasant things. Things did not improve for Man, It's So Loud In Here as the backing tape was only playing through one speaker. Flansburgh's guitar also wasn't working very well during the song, and didn't work at ALL during She's An Angel. He spent most of the song tuning up for the song after that.

Auld Lang Syne -" With just a few minutes to midnight, they started The Guitar. By now, we know they won't make it through in time. As a result, when the DJ came up to announce it was close to midnight, it already was. He did a countdown anyway, but it was VERY anti-climatic. What made it even more anti-climatic was the balloon drop that never was. The balloons just stayed in the bag. Another snafu on Bohager's part.

During the show, Flansburgh showed us some cards with the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne and tossed them out to the crowd. The people used this to sing along to TMBG, as they played it twice through. After they were done, they tore into an awesome surf rock version of the song. After that, they finished with Boss Of Me and left the stage. No encore, Bosstones were set to go on in 5 minutes.

Other notes: One of those girls was yelling "PARKER! I WANT YOUR BABY!" Danny got a BIG smile.

Flansburgh mentioned the Decoy museum and how it is made entirely out of wood.

Because it was COLD in the tent, Linnell mentioned how in almost 20-years of TMBG, this was the first time he was playing in a sweater.

So after TMBG was done, the Bosstones came on in 5 minutes at the larger stage. I got my spot in the 3rd row for that, and they came out promptly. Here are some highlights to that show if you are interested:

Crowd didn't get crazy until about the 5th song. That's when during Devil's Night Out; Dicky noticed me screaming the song and shoved the mic in my face. I obliged with a scream that I don't normally do for TMBG shows.

After that, the front was going nuts with the mosh pit. Now at a Bosstones show, this is par for the course, so I had no problem with this. Crowd-surfers, frat boys pushing, no problem. It's part of the job.

At one point, before Impression That I Get, Dicky did manage to quiet the crowd down for a final moment of silence for Sept. 11th.

They ended the set with the 1-minute hardcore cover they usually close shows with, Lights Out, one of my favs. It's like their version of Dig My Grave. They did come out for an encore, which is another fav live song of mine, Little Big Ugly.

After playing a slightly shorter set than TMBG, they were done. But I was happy. What a night to rock out to two of my most favorite bands, and to get dressed up for it. Of course, my suit needs a dry cleaning badly!