From This Might Be A Wiki

Fan Recaps and Comments:

Dan Miller: (from

A few casualties by the Lancastrians love of smoking:
We lost Particle Man to a 'my god it's so smoky in here' computer crash - but we will be putting up a free version of that song in the very near future - Look for it under the 'sample' link for the Lancaster show.
Also, the recording gear had a hiccup at the top of Countercoup (track 15). We last about the first 5 seconds of the song because of it but left in the remaining version. I don't know how often this song will appear in the tour and I wanted to get it out there. This version sounds really good - this whole show is one of the best sounding recordings so far. The thick Camel air gave the recording some extra warmth.


I guess age does have its advantages! Unlike Master Chicken and thehennnry, I was more than old enough to be on the main floor...but I'm getting ahead of myself.
I've been a casual fan of TMBG since 1990-91 but have never been to a show before. In the past year or two, I've developed into a rabid fan so when I found out they were playing in Lancaster at the Chameleon Club (less than an hour from my home), I immediately bought tickets for my wife and I. Having never been to the Chameleon, we showed up very early and there was already one young lady waiting by the locked club door. It turns out that she was none other than fellow wikian Kassi! Hearing that we were "first-timers" she immediately took us under her wing, which was a real blessing. She even recommended a place for us to eat since we had not had dinner yet.
As we walked around the block per Kassi's directions, we came upon the TMBG tour bus and saw John F. exiting the back of the club with an acoustic guitar in his hand. I turned excitedly to my wife and said, "That's John Flansburgh!" I think Flans may have heard me because he turned to us just before boarding the bus, waved and said, "Hey, guys!" I nodded back and said "Hey, man!" (I thought I was being cool and controlled. My wife, however, disagreed and said my excitement was barely contained and that it was obvious I was a geek). Anyway, the funniest moment was when JF seemed to forget where he was. He gestured to us and said, "Welcome to (pause) YOUR TOWN!" Smiling, he continued boarding the bus and shut the door. It was still about an hour and a half before the doors opened and I was already having a great night!
After eating and then waiting in the ever-growing line for quite a while, the doors finally opened a few minutes after 7 PM. When we entered the main area we saw our new friend Kassi standing by the stage so we went to join her. We weren't sure where we wanted to stand for the show but Kassi insisted the best place to be was right there by the stage and boy was she right! (For those who were at the show, I was the big bald guy with glasses, front and center).
Corn Mo played first and was fantastic. I had never heard him before and really didn't know what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised. (After the show I had the chance to meet Corn Mo and got him to autograph my new copy of his "The Magic Is You" CD.)
Then, after moving Corn Mo's accordion and keyboard, it was time to prepare for TMBG!
As I mentioned previously, we were literally right against the stage. I was leaning against the stage front and could even set my drink down on the stage itself! I was even close enough that I could lean to my right and touch the leg of Linnell's keyboard stand. I've only been to a few concerts in my lifetime (David Bowie [twice], Billy Joel, Paul Simon, and The Steve Miller Band) and I've never been so close to the performers before. I could hear and see everything very, VERY well. At some point during the show, each member of the band (minus Marty Beller on drums) came to the front of the stage and played literally a foot or two away from me! I don't want to make the under-21's jealous, but I've never had a better live experience and don't expect I will again unless/until the Giants come back to the Chameleon!
All five Giants were amazing. I really enjoyed being able to see their musicianship up close. Mary Beller is amazing. He facial expressions while drumming were priceless! Here are a few of the concert highlights that immediately spring to mind:
  • Having lived in Lancaster at one point in my life, I enjoyed JF's question about the pronunciation of Lancaster (lang'-keh-ster VS. lan-kas'-ter). The crowd quickly informed him that the first version was correct at which point he told the crowd that we was changing the emphasis in his last name for the second half of his life and that anyone who met him after the show "should respect that."
  • Flans introduced Damn Good Times saying that it was written about the last time they played the Chameleon in 2001.
  • Flans complained about the LP release date of The Else: "September 11th! Catchy release date, huh?" He also made a joke about the gatefold LP being good for separating pot seeds and enjoyed seeing the crowd "slowly react" to his pot jokes.
  • Alphabet of Nations was great and really high energy. I was really surprised to see how much the crowd got into this alleged "children's song."
  • The Phone Calls From The Dead section focused on President James Buchanan, the fifteenth President of the United States and the only one Pennsylvania (he was also the only President to never marry). Lancaster is considered is hometown (his Wheatland Estate is a tourist attraction there).
  • Particle Mo was an absolute blast! The interaction between JF and Corn Mo (both on accordions) was a lot of fun!
  • Before Drink!, JF instructed the crowd to shout "No! Wait!" each time he would say "drink." We practiced it once and the crowd (myself included) though he wanted us to say "No way!" He stopped and corrected us: "No, no, no. Not 'No way!' It's 'No! Wait!' No, exclamation point, wait, exclamation point." I then yelled "Ohhhhh!" (which you can actually hear on the download version!).
  • During one of the later songs in the show (I don't remember wich one), Flansy held his guitar out to the audience and my wife and I each got play it...TWICE!
After the show, I got to meet Dan Miller (briefly) and Marty Beller. Marty was a hell of a nice guy who chatted with me for several minutes. It would have been nice to meet JL too, but as close as I was to him during the show, I really can't complain. I swear he looked at me and smiled a few times during the show. Honestly, I think he probably thought the overweight bald guy in the front row wearing the TMBG Presidents tee-shirt was pretty ridiculous as I was jumping around and singing every word to every song!
I really can't imagine a better or more fun-filled show. I feel bad for my fellow wikians who were forced to watch from the balcony over the stage. It didn't look like they would have had a very good view from there. I definitely feel this poor location negatively affected their experience and that really sucks!

Master Chicken:

Although the ticket said that the concert began at 7:00, Corn Mo didn't come on until around 8, and TMBG wasn't on until about 9:20. The club was very poorly designed, and the lower floor by the stage was 21+ only. The upper balcony where I ended up was more or less a floor with a hole in it, and there were very few places where you could actually see. Nonetheless, the band was stellar, and I was ecstatic that they brought back old songs like Puppet Head and It's Not My Birthday. Despite the crappy setting, the band's performance more than made up for it. When they did Particle Man, they brought out Corn Mo to play with. He and Linnell did this hilarious accordion duo in the second Triangle Man part. Linnell: "Triangle Man and Person Man had a fight. I was right there. It was totally fucked up. No one wanted to break it up. Triangle blood was spilled, and Person Man was killed."


At first being pushed to the balcony simply because I was underage was a real downer, but despite the hovering smog of cigarettes (and dare I say, suspicious smells?) and precious room to see I clung to a good bit of railing and got a good enough view of the stage. Corn Mo was *absolutely* the best opening act I've see with Them so far. As I've YouTubed They Might Be Giants enough, I was praying that he'd come out to play "Particle Man" - and of course he freaking did. :) Another perk to the "cheap seats" (despite paying...the...same...price as every one else in the joint) was that we got decent acknowledgement from the band. Linnell commented on us seeing his possible bald spot - to that I yelled (hoarsely, by that point :P) "YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL!" But the guy next to me was able to yell it louder. (v.v)
As Master Chicken said - "Particle Man" was *HILARIOUS*. For some unknown reason, it just sets my heart all a-flutter when Linnell says "the eff word."
It was a great set, and the encores (as always) are BRILLIANT. I've been hoping to hear "It's Not My Birthday" live! And I always hoped They'd bring back "Puppet Head".
As Flans and Linnell came back out for the first encore, Flans stated that while the rest of the band were "feverishly smoking Menthols" backstage, that he and Linnell would be playing a portion of one of the songs ("With the Dark") off Their new album.
Various quotes (that are tentatively quoted...I don't have that excellent of a memory, folks):
"So tell us, is it pronounced LAN-CAST-ER or LAN-CUS-TER? Raise your hand..." -Flans
"For the first forty-seven years of my life I have been Flansburgh, but I expect I'll live to around ninety, so at that half-point I'll now known as 'Flansborough' (?)." -Flans
"It's the fifteenth president of the United States, Mr. James Buchanan! ... Mr. Buchanan, who do you think is the worst president of the United States?" -Flans (Linnells responds by feverishly pushing keys on the keyboard...and pretty much interrupting every time Flans tries to speak...hee!)
"How modest Mr. Buchanan is. Doing the voices of Charlie Brown's parents in the Sixties and Seventies! ... Yeah, from the *grave*." -Flans (after Buchanan "hangs up")
"Do you think he has someone else down there?" -Linnell (on why Buchanan can call from his coffin)
"Do you think he kisses his mother with that mouth?" -Linnell (on James Buchanan)
An overall great show. ;)


Let me start off by saying that me and my wife are both over 21, but my wife doesn't usually bother bringing her ID to shows since she doesn't drink. Well, for some ridiculous reason, all the under 21 had to go up to the balcony. I was a bit mad (to say the least) when I found out about that. Thing is, I've been to plenty of shows there including all ages, and they never did that before. So, this fact, especially since it meant that I had to be on the balcony with a view that ranged from limited to blocked, made this my least favorite TMBG show from the start.
Now that that's out, on to the show. I'll start off with Corn Mo. I enjoyed him more than when I saw him before (at Towson in 2004) and what was particularly great was when someone yelled Free Bird to which Corn Mo said something along the lines of "Hey, Mister Clever who just yelled Free Bird. I want you to raise your hand, just for a second, so everyone can see you, because now I'm going to play it" and he went on to do a one-man-with-an-accordion cover of it. I think when the song was over, he said "So F--- you!".
Now for the Giants. I must admit, I like The Else, but not as much as previous stuff (even The Spine I think is better) so the fact that the show was dominated by material from there made it not as great for me. The banter was pretty good, which has already been discussed above, particularly the bit about the pronunciation of 'Lancaster'. When it was all said and done, it was still a very enjoyable show, but probably would have been my least favorite even if I were on the floor.


I've seen a couple (non-TMBG) shows at the Chameleon before, and this was the first time I had to be up in the balcony - usually, from what I remember, the floor is for the under-21 crowd. So I was really disappointed because it was my 16 years old brother's real TMBG show, and my girlfriend's as well (she didn't bring ID). We were relegated to the top with some friends who also didn't bring ID. Could barely see the band. John F. was an invisible specter for most of the show, every now and again moving into my view.
The show itself was great - they played everything from The Else that I wanted to hear. I don't think I'll be seeing much at the Chameleon anymore, but there's plenty of other venues within driving distance.