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Fan Recaps and Comments:

Review by Asa Pillsbury:
This concert was in a series of free "Thursday at the Square" concerts, in which people show up at Lafayette Square and one or two openers play, then the headliner, which is usually nationally known, plays. The concert officially started at 5:00 but there was still a lot of setting up to do. After about 20 minutes, the first act, Woven, started. They came from Los Angeles to play for 25 minutes. I thought they were okay; other people thought they sucked, and that they used too many effects, and that they couldn't really play that well. I also thought they were incredibly loud. I guess they turn the volume up so that the whole city of Buffalo can hear the concert. A band from Buffalo called McCarthyizm was next. They sounded really good, and they had a horn section, plus a guy playing violin on two songs. Then they were done, and TMBG came on.

They entered to the latter part of O Fortuna by Carl Orff. John Flansburgh came up to the microphone and coughed and said they couldn't play. (This was a joke referring to when they tried to perform here last year but it rained.) Their first song was Clap Your Hands, in which the audience was invited to clap its hands, stomp its feet, and jump in the air. I was already jumping in the air a lot. Then Flans told us to scream, then to swear, then to swear more quietly, then to swear even more quietly, then to make our children swear (this was very funny), then to mumble. They didn't swear at all during the show, which is unusual for them, but I guess since there were so many people that could hear them they were told to tone it down.

Next was Bed Bed Bed, during which the confetti cannons shot multicolored plastic confetti into the crowd, and most of it was blown away by the wind. I think it was during this song that Flans left the stage and played while walking over to the left side of the crowd. A guy in a Slipknot shirt jumped over the barrier between Flans and the audience, so Flans and Linnell made a bunch of jokes about Slipknot between songs. Flans was talking about how they were on the cover of Guitar World three years ago and it said "New year, new masks"... but they probably had newer masks now. One of them said that you could walk into a bar and say you were in Slipknot and nobody would know ("I'm the other guy in Slipknot... the tall one"). They also mentioned stuff about the guy in the Slipknot T-shirt, that he was coming out with a new CD soon, and that he wrote one of their songs (I can't remember which). This, of course, made the guy in the Slipknot shirt very happy.

After this—it may have been the next song but I'm not sure because my memory sucks—they played Fingertips, which was ultra cool. Miller sang some of it. This was also when people started moshing directly in front of us. (They also did this in front of me at the other TMBG show I was at on 5/2/01; I wonder if I attract moshers or something.) This annoyed many people. During "I'm Having a Heart Attack", Flans did the boy band parody backing vocals, which went "Girl, you know it's true / H-E-A-R-T attack to you, girl / And if I die before we freak / I will always love you, peace." "Darkened Corridors" was very rocking. Linnell seemed to be looking directly at me during some parts, which I hear he's known to do. It should be noted that I have awful eyesight, so I never really know when someone's looking at me from a distance.

At one point, Flans described Linnell's accordion as a weapon of mass destruction: "We have found the true weapon of mass destruction! John Linnell for president!" (not an exact quote) At another point, Flans was saying to Hickey how he seemed to be mad at the snare drum because he was hitting it so hard; this was reminiscent of the Dr. Worm DVD commentary. In the middle of the show they played "In the Middle", a definite children's song, and people continued to mosh to that. The guy in the Slipknot shirt had joined them by then. Flans commented that if it was inappropriate to mosh to that song (Linnell shouted out "Inappropriate!", which may have been a reference to a Conan sketch, but I'm not sure), it would be more inappropriate to mosh to the next song, which was Istanbul (Not Constantinople). Flans then told the story of how they were auditioning people to be in the band a few years ago (Miller started laughing at this point), and Dan Miller played a really awesome improv thing he called "Intro to Istanbul", and that was what made them decide to hire him. Miller then played his intro, and verily, it was good.

Some of the other songs I can remember them playing include Minimum Wage, Cyclops Rock, No, Drink (which Flans described as being about the happy side of alcoholism), Boss of Me (for which the moshing was at its heaviest, since everyone knows this song), The Famous Polka (twice; the second time it was supposedly twice as fast), On the Drag, Dead, Dr. Worm (before this, Flans said something like "We got a call that the people of Buffalo like to hear songs about worms, and we know two," then they did a sort of improvy thing while shouting "worm!"), Why Does The Sun Shine? (they wished they could have sung that last year; Flans mis-sung "The sun is so large that everything on it is a gas", then he listed various coils, and even the mighty kiln, as being a gas; then he said that the heat and light of the sun were caused by a nuclear reaction between estrogen, estrogen, estrogen, and more estrogen), New York City, John Lee Supertaster, Birdhouse in Your Soul, and Particle Man. There was also a song which was probably improvised about how they were glad we came to their show.

The encore was a special treat, because they did Battle for the Planet of the Apes! They said that they only do this at shows that were previously cancelled. We were to "pretend you're at a real rock concert" and shake our left fist in the air chanting "people!" for the Dans when they were playing, then shake our right fist in the air and shout "apes!" for the Johns when they were playing (this was done at half the tempo of the recording at the end of Severe Tire Damage), and to shake both our fists in the air for ourselves and shout "robot!" when no one was playing. At the end they declared that the robots won. Then they left, and for some reason the signal was given that they were done even though they were planning on doing another encore (Flans told someone this while I was waiting in line for him to sign stuff).

After the show we found Flans and I got him to sign a dollar bill, which was the only signable thing I had. Then I looked at the merchandise booth and noticed there was a bumper sticker for $2, so I got back in line and had him quickly sign that. When I got home I forgot about them and left them in my friend's car, where they probably still are, a week later.

Review by Jason Sigala:
Okay, so we got there right after three o'clock, and bands weren't even going to start playing before 5. As we were walking towards where we thought the stage was, we heard some singing going on over loud speakers. I strained to listen as I walked when realization washed over me.

It was Flans!

My first thought was that maybe I'd read the times wrong, and we were late, but I found out that wasn't the case at all. They were doing a soundcheck. The band was all up there, and they were just testing out how everything worked out on the mics and instruments. Flans still singing. He was singing Absolutley Bill's Mood! I love Absolutley Bill's Mood!Keep in mind that this was an outside show, but we were the only ones watching for a while. It was like a mini-TMBG concert just for us. That much alone was an awesome factor of at least 10.

Well, when they finished up, I saw that they just walked down beside the stage. I went to where they were to meet up with them. Now, at my graduation party, Leia got me the Mink Car retail sampler, a hard to find token. I got signatures from all three Dans. Dan Hickey, the drummer, looked at my Mountain Dew permanent parker oddly, and then proceeded to sign the sleeve. Hickey: Hm. I half expected it to sign in green. Me: Ha. No, but I do have one at home that writes in red. Hickey: Do you work for Mountain Dew? Me: No, no. There's a store in my hometown that sells them 2 for a buck (long pause) Hickey: ...A Mountain Dew store?

When I got Dan Miller, the lead guitarist to sign it, he casually asked me: Miller: Hey, do you know of any bookstores in Buffalo that are of walking distance from here? Me: Sorry, no. I'm from Ohio. Miller: Oh... Well, do you know of any bookstores in Ohio that are of walking distance from here?

Danny Weinkauf, the bassist signed it too, but didn't say much. TJ got them all to sign his copy of Apollo 18. I didn't bother telling him until afterward that none of the Dans were with the band back when A18 was recorded. During that time, Linnell noticed we getting stuff signed, and slinked off, not wanting to be bothered, and Flans just wondered off, aimlessly. We looked around for them around the street square, couldn't find them, so just decided to look around a bit. We saw the pavilion for TMBG merchandise (shirts and whatnot), and decided to check it out.

When we got there, Dan Hickey was there, and the T-shirt lady asked him if he could mind the stand while she left quickly. I talked with Dan a little more, we joked around a bit. I took a picture with him. He really is a cool, cool guy.

We looked one last time for Linnell and Flans, but no luck, so we just went to the front of the stage and waited for the bands to start. They Might Be Giants took the stage. They were the best I've ever seen them. They were having alot of fun on stage.

At some point, a kid in a Slipknot shirt snuck past the stage guard and tried to make trouble. Even though tere was a security guy right beside him. I swear he was up there for a good while before that guard noticed him. What an idiot. Flans made alot of jokes about the kid and Slipknot. Flans: I remember seeing them on a cover of GuitarWorld. It said "New gear. New masks." That was a few years ago. I bet they've gotten new gear and masks since then. Linnell: We've still got the same gear. Flans: Yeah. Linnell: But we do have new masks.

Then they claimed they were going to do a song about a worm. Flans: We only play two songs about worms *Flans sings an improv song about a worm*

Linnell: Actually, we only play one song about worms anymore.... and that was it... But here's another one! Its called Doctor Worm!

They finished on NYC. I walked over too see if Linnell, by any small chance, would come out. I heard him waiting to see if they should go out for another encore, but they turned on the music before they could go out again.

Flansburgh was signing stuff behind the T-Shirt stand. He signed my CD, and I took a picture with him. I bought a hat, a bumper sticker, and the Direct From Brooklyn DVD. I'm their consumer bitch.

And there you have it. I took some pictures. I hope to get them developed soon. Life is good, no?